Erica's Original Notes Leonardo Fibonacci was born in Pisa in 1170 and lived until 1230; his father was a customs inspector in this city. During Leonardo's youth he travelled the Mediterranean trading, and it was at this time he became impressed with the Arabic system of numerals, as opposed to the cumbersome Roman numbers. Little is known about him except that he was an outstanding mathematician, who used his skills to solve many problems, one of which was to put order into the various arrangements in Nature. So we have this marvelous interrelationship of botany, mathematics and art called 'Fibonacci Spirals', seen best in the branches of trees that are of equal spacing in a circle as they mount, always the same according to family, thus ensuring that each leaf has the maximum exposure to light.
Branches that are arranged in the opposite manner are much less common and are found in dogwood, maple, ash and horse chestnut. The catalpa, we find, has whorls. The system carries on all through nature with spider webs and seashells. Leonardo Fibonacci was active in the commercial life of the State of Pisa, seeking solutions to everyday life, and we have to admire his gifts.