Agave victoriae-reginae

More mathematics Queen Victoria's agave (Agave victoriae-reginae) is a small species of agave noted for its streaks of white on sculptured geometrical leaves, and popular as an ornamental. It is named for Queen Victoria. This agave is highly variable in form, but in general the rosettes are small and compact, composed of short, rigid, thick leaves that are green with a pattern of distinctive white markings. The markings are generally along leaf keels or margins, giving a sort of polyhedral appearance. Marginal teeth are usually lacking, while the terminus of the leaf may include 1 to 3 spines, each 1.5–3 cm in length.

A. victoriae-reginae is found across the Chihuahuan Desert, with about a half-dozen subspecies named. This one was pictured at Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid

ChristyHolland
6 years ago

Great photo Arlanda! I just watched the videos Craig suggested...and they were very fascinating! Intriguing!! I have a biology background, so the big picture made sense, but the details...I'd have to study forever!!! Beautiful!

craigwilliams
6 years ago

I suspect your other Agave is victoriae-reginae as well arlanda.

I thought you might like to see this nice series of three videos about mathematics, spirals and the fibonacci series in plants. Be warned though, she talks very quickly!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSX...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOIP_Z_-0...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14-NdQwKz...

arlanda
6 years ago

Sanjay, in other words, simple is boring and complex is confusing. So symmetry eliminates part of the confusion of complexity while lack of symmetry would add some interest to simplicity. ;)

SanjaySaklani
6 years ago

DURING THE EARLY PART OF THE 20TH CENTURY, the famous Harvard mathematician George David Birkhoff developed a mathematical formula which he believed could be used to gauge how beautiful and appealing a work of art was.

Birkhoff's formula relied on two abstract concepts: complexity and order (or symmetry). According to Birkhoff, if something is complex, it will be more appealing if it is less symmetrical. Alternatively, if something is highly-symmetrical, it is better if it is less complex.

arlanda
6 years ago

I agree Emma, I guess you cannot get a global mission unless your local mission is successful itself. At the same time it does not sound good to me a mission called "Life and Mathematics in Spain".

No system is perfect!

Hema Shah
6 years ago

Sanjay true. That means the Genes are coded accordingly?. Again this must be thru evolution and trial and error,where the plant comes to a conclusion that it will benefit the most if it grows in a certain way/

arlanda
6 years ago

On the other hand, I am a crystallographer, and crystals try to occupy the space in the best way by symmetry. I guess plants also try to occupy as much space as possible with the minimum waste of energy.

Hema Shah
6 years ago

BTW , I am just trying to abide by the rules .Till of course they figure out which mission needs to be local and which does not. Some missions could be just for fun. In the process you learn something too.

My feeling is that active participation is more important than anything . Because some missions can just become stagnant after a while.

arlanda
6 years ago

In some way growth is related with symmetry. I mean, if a plant is growing putting new branches, for example, it is probably more economic if it do it in a symmetric way.

Hema Shah
6 years ago

What amazes is how the plant decides to have such an arrangement. Fascinating indeed!

arlanda
6 years ago

Yes Emma, it is a good one, notice that the inflorescence (?) presents tetragonal (4-fold) symmetry but each individual flower has 5-fold symmetry (pentagonal). Very curious!

arlanda
6 years ago

Emma, it is a pity you leave the mission. It will take time to Columbus to reach California. It will maybe take even longer to have a global mission about Life and Mathematics to share our pictures. I think it is somehow silly to consider mathematics as local but there is no option, only local missions are allowed.

By the way, beautiful spot you show me. It combines the tetragonal symmetry of the central flower with the spirals of the leaves. It is not so simple, you know, this spirals show the typical sunflower type Fibonacci sequence with eight whorls in one direction and 13 in the other which are two consecutive members of Fibonacci sequence: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 etc where the sum of any pair define the next number in the sequence. Like Romanesco broccoli!!

Hema Shah
6 years ago

Arlanda, i will rejoin your mission when Columbus reaches California.

In the meantime I thought I would share a spotting i saw.

http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/742...

The simplest math concept i see is symmetry in here,

DanielePralong
6 years ago

Indeed Arlanda, there is unfortunately no other option at the moment. At this stage we're just kindly asking you to keep the mission local:-)

DanielePralong
6 years ago

Hi Arlanda! Just a reminder that all user-created missions are first local only, with a 300 miles radius as indicated on your map. Thanks!

arlanda
6 years ago

Right Emma, anything you consider related to Mathematics: geometry, symmetry, numerical series, etc

Hema Shah
6 years ago

Arlanda,i am assuming that it is OK to add,geometrical shapes , colors and patterns For eg,the praying Mantis has a triangular head.

Lat: 40.41, Long: -3.69

Spotted on Apr 23, 2010

Submitted on Feb 22, 2012