Join the Q: Mathematical Vegetables

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Join the Q: Mathematical Vegetables

I like eating vegetables, but I also like studying them because of the fascinating variety of colours and shapes that there are. In particular vegetables can exhibit various mathematical properties. A lettuce illustrates hyperbolic geometry in the curl of its leaves. Vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have fractal structure, as their florets are made up of smaller florets that look the same. However, it was only recently that I discovered the vegetable known as Romanesco Broccoli.

This vegetable tastes a bit like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, being paler green than broccoli (calabrese), but not as pale as cauliflower. However, the main reason I decided to try it was its shape.

There is no doubting that this vegetable has fractal structure, as each floret is clearly defined and exactly the same in shape as others, with the only difference being that some are larger and some are smaller. Not only that, but the florets are arranged into clearly defined Fibonacci spirals, similar to the centre of a sunflower. A worthwhile vegetable indeed!

Romanesco Broccoli side viewRomanesco Broccoli top view

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