The cocoa flower, the Fibonacci sequence, and the golden ratio

The cocoa flower, the Fibonacci sequence, and the golden ratio

  • 19 April, 2024
  • Somos Cacao

The sciences, including mathematics, found their sources in natural discoveries. Since ancient times, scientists and researchers have turned to the observation of nature to try to explain patterns and wonders.

An element as small, simple, and beautiful as the cocoa flower makes us aware of the perfection of nature, which, in discreet lines, shows us an exciting design: a model that corresponds to one of the most fascinating mathematical concepts, the Fibonacci sequence.

Leonardo of Pisa (Fibonacci) managed to discover in the 13th century a numerical sequence initiated at 0 and 1, according to which a third number could be established as the sum of the two previous ones (1, 1, 2, 3, 5…). When two consecutive elements of the sequence are divided, the result approximates the golden ratio or golden number (1.6180339). From that moment on, the Fibonacci series predominates in music, architecture, visual arts, and other arts, imitating the magical effect expressed in designs as diverse as galaxies, snails, or, what concerns us now, flowers.

The cocoa flower has pentamerous symmetry, that is, five radial petals that symmetrically emanate from its center, a delicacy that reminds us of starfish. The basis of this architecture rests on one of the most perfect geometric figures: the pentagon. This polygon is also called pentacle, pentagram, pentalfa, or pentangle and is one of the geometric figures in whose internal proportions the golden ratio also appears. The Pythagorean star or 5-pointed star is obtained by drawing diagonals in a regular pentagon; this symbol was the watchword of the scientific, religious, and political school founded by Pythagoras in Crotona around 572 BC, becoming the first Greek mathematical school. The pentagon was considered the sanctuary of harmony, the symphony of number, the human anagram, and the cult of the feminine. One of its maxims established the need to "investigate the principle of order manifested in the universe to try to resemble it."

Somos Cacao, in its main purpose and quest, combines nature and scientific knowledge as the most important relationship of identity, aspiring to the fullness of "we are" as a motto. For this reason, our new image draws inspiration from the beautiful five-petal floral star, the origin and principle of our reason for being: cocoa.

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