Floral Symmetries

We have included several avenues for one to discover the symmetries seen in many flowers. This term, wheel symmetry or wheel pattern, is also known as radial symmetry or rosette symmetry. It would be informative for a user to find other web sites that define this type of symmetry. If one finds a site that they deem useful, send the address to jklerlei@coe.uga.edu so that others may take advantage of it as well.

Also included is a link to a page of science links which the user may take advantage of to connect their study of symmetry into other areas. Feel free to send us any other informative sites that you discover.

In order to streamline the readers efforts, we divide our work with symmetries of flowers into several sections. Clicking on any category listed below will link to the particular section described.

What is a wheel pattern anyway? Speaking very basically, a wheel pattern is seen whenever an object is rotated about its center and then creates the exact image as the original object. Also a wheel pattern may be recognized as a reflection across a line that passes through the center of an object that creates an image identical to the original object. Because this explanation seems to be a bit lacking and probably not all that helpful for students to understand what is being referred to, click the link below for a helpful powerpoint show that may be used with an entire class or that a small group of students may use on their own.

To view a powerpoint presentation that will facilitate learning the specifics of this type of symmetry, click this link.

Some examples of wheel patterns that we created on GSP in order to aid in the study of the various wheel symmetries

Investigation of the symmetries in the flowers found on the campus of The University of Georgia:

Wheel symmetries of the national flowers of several countries. The answer to the question on the minds of all educators who advocate team-teaching is yes, this does connect to social studies and also to science when we consider nomenclature of species or gaining new botantical knowledge.

Self investigation; this link will allow the user to view pictures of various flowers and manipulate the templates we have created in order to determine if their assumptions of the particular wheel pattern are correct.

To learn some basic, and in some cases more complex, terminology about flowers and plants use this link to access a page where we list several helpful web pages.

As an additional resource we use the knowledge of Dr. J. Wilson who referred me to the NCTM publication, I Can Count the Petals of a Flower, by John and Stacey Wahl. Clicking the title will link the user to the NCTM site where this book is made available for purchase.

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Not interested in floral symmetry, click here to go to our investigations of symmetries in the coloring of snakes