News From the Field
The Cause Behind The Characteristic Shape of a Long Leaf Revealed
November 23, 2009
Applied mathematicians dissected the morphology of the plantain lily, a characteristic long leaf with a saddle-like arc midsection and closely packed ripples along the edges. The simple cause of the lily's fan-like shape--elastic relaxation resulting from bending during differential growth--was revealed by using an equally simple technique, stretching foam ribbons.
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