Patterns in Nature

Whale Coast Conservation

Date(s) - 22/08/2017
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Green House


Plants produce beautiful patterns in the way they grow. These patterns are not just for our delight but based on simple mathematical formulae to maximise efficient growth of the plant. This talk will explore some of these simple models and explain the reasons for these attractive adaptations.

Chris Whitehouse was born in the UK but recently moved to Phillipskop Mountain Reserve, a 246ha wilderness area on the southerly slopes of the Klein River Mountains just to the east of Stanford. He has been enthusiastic about plants from a young age, particularly South African bulbs. He has worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, participating in expeditions to Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. For his doctorate, he moved to Cape Town, where he spent over four years hiking the mountains in search of Cape-roses (Cliffortia) and is now considered the world authority on the genus. Returning to the UK, he spent 10 years as the keeper of the herbarium at Kew. During this time, he continued his focus on South African plants, and has just completed writing a book on red-hot pokers.