Fibonacci Spirals

– Posted in: Succulents

Sunflowers and nautilus shells exhibit a geometric spiral that is found in many cacti and succulents. I thought you might enjoy some examples. Isn’t nature amazing?


This is Aloe polyphylla, the spiral aloe. Next, some cacti.

Cacus spiral

Diane Dunhill's cactus


These are Sempervivum arachnoideum (cobweb houseleeks).


This is a Medusa euphorbia.


And another mammillaria. If the spiral form of its spines wasn’t lovely enough, it’s beautifully in bloom. Have you noticed Fibonacci spirals in your own plants or garden? Do look for them. You may be surprised at how common they are.



My goal is to share the beauty of waterwise, easy-care succulents in gardens, containers and landscapes via blog postsnewsletterspublic speaking and workshopsphotosvideosmerchandise, and social media (Facebook and Pinterest). My books: Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardensand Succulents Simplified. 
Debra Lee Baldwin
Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored the Timber Press bestsellers Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified. Debra is a regular contributor to Sunset and other publications, and her own half-acre garden near San Diego has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens. Debra specializes in showing how to use architectural, waterwise and easy-care succulents in a wide variety of appealing and creative applications.
Debra Lee Baldwin
9 Comments… add one

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Patti T April 6, 2014, 8:50 pm

I enjoyed every photo!

Debra April 7, 2014, 1:12 pm

Beautiful shots! Nature is amazing. i wonder what the advantage of a spiral is in a desert environment? There is enough sunlight so maybe it has something to do with water?

Blue Planet April 8, 2014, 10:18 pm

So beautiful cacti… Nature is really amazing…

Gardening Succs May 2, 2014, 10:03 am

Great post, great pics. I will be on the lookout for Fibonacci spirals in my own garden!

ed curlee May 2, 2014, 11:31 am

I just woke up and turned on my computer and I was pleasantly surprised by a large number of “Gardening Gone Wild” articles with many beautiful and colorful photographs. I only wish I could wake up every morning with your beautiful and inspiring work. Lets see now, what possibilities exist in my garden. Thanks Debra.

Lenore May 2, 2014, 11:37 am

Great photos! I always enjoy your photography and commentary.

Kim Smith May 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

This is awesome. I need to go look at all my succulents again! And maybe design a swirl container?

Cheryl May 2, 2014, 5:37 pm

I love them, too, and always search for those that are great examples when buying new succulents. Wish I could find that Spiral Aloe…..

Mary Yee May 4, 2014, 9:08 pm

Gorgeous photos, Debra. I have always loved these spirals in plants.