Anatomy of a Bud

Jay Kappraff
Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science (2004)
Pages 1–10


For the past forty years Lawrence Edwards, a mathematician and scientist from Scotland, has observed on a daily basis subtle changes in the shape of buds. He has used projective geometry to deduce an invariant parameter that is a measure of the shape of the bud and has observed that every 14 days the bud expresses itself by changing its shape from a flattened to a more sharpened form. He has been able to show that for a particular species of bud the day of maximum expression correlates with the alignment of the Earth, moon and a planet particular to the species. For example the Oak correlates with Mars, the Beech with Saturn and the Knapweed with Jupiter. Furthermore each year the time at which the bud achieves its maximum shape change occurs one day per year earlier than the exact alignment of Earth, moon and planet until after seven years the alignment is again exact. These observations have no explanation within the scientific paradigm. However, the results have been replicated to a limited degree by others.