Dill and the World of Fractals

I forgot I had planted Dill in the garden until I saw the lacy yellow flowers. They are beautiful.

27-dill1

They remind me of those fireworks that burst from the center and send a spray of colorful sparks out in all directions!

27-dill2

As my camera closed in, the smaller clumps of flowers mimicked the overall shape of the entire flower head.

27-dill3

Here are the flowers really up close. Not all that clear, unfortunately. On a slightly windy day, it is really hard to capture a tall, swaying flower with a macro lens!

The interesting thing about Dill, and many other things in Nature, is that they are illustrations of Fractal Geometry. In a fractal, each part of something is a copy of the whole.  In Dill, the little flower bits are similar in shape to the individual flower clumps, which are similar in shape to the whole flower on the top of the stalk. You can see the same thing in the branching of a tree, the veins in a leaf, the cross section of a head of cabbage or many other things that seem chaotic at first glance!

Getting back to the Dill – I’ll have to watch it very carefully. Each one of those little flowers will become a seed, and there are going to be enough of them to cover the entire garden if I don’t chop off a few dill heads soon!

Now here is my Challenge to you – Even if you are mathematically challenged, see if you can tell me about a Fractal you have seen in nature!