Spherical flower - cephalanthus occidentalis

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Mon, 07/11/2011 - 20:39.

The image above shows cephalanthus occidentalis (button bush) at the end of it's flowing period.  Bumble bees are still in attendance.

Most of the seeds have left the center flower, leaving a very neat green ball.

Is there an advantage/disadvantage of this flower geometry over other flower shapes? 

sphere-flowerP1510733.jpg106.05 KB
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Form and Function - how strong is the correlation?


The image above is a design by 

Massoud Hassani, "Mine Kafon" a wind powered anti-landmine ball

and is used courtesy






The flower and the Mine Kafon have very similar forms.  

The mine is meant to roll like a tumble weed across the ground to locate land mines.

The flower is meant to release individual seeds which float laterally on the wind to the ground.


What other shapes are you aware of that look similar and what are the functions of those shapes.

Does the shape and function correlate?