Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fractal ferns

Most species of ferns have pinnate fronds.  The term pinnate describes the arrangement of leaflets arising at multiple points along a common axis. A fern may be simply pinnate or may be bipinnate if the leaflets are divided again, or tripinnate or even tetrapinnate depending how many levels of division the fronds have.

Because this is a simple mathematical process, simple algorithms can make surprisingly lifelike ferns. Check out the Fractal fern page if you are interested in math.

Can you tell which of these ferns is real and which is computer generated?

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