The new wrinkly-edge model not only helps scientists understand how flowers open but could lead to advances in bio-mimicry, or the engineering of devices based on models from nature, such as thin-film motors and actuators.
To understand how flowering happens, Haiyi Liang and L. Mahadevan, the Harvard researchers who conducted the study, marked lily buds with a series of dots, then watched as they opened in a time-lapse video.
The scientists then developed a mathematical model to explain what they had observed.
IMAGE 1: The Asiatic Lily (Lilium casablanca) (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS).
IMAGE 2-4: The Asiatic Lily blooming (PNAS).