The innate mathematical spine of pine cones and pineapples...the Fibonacci series...observed and noted originally in 1202. This is a delicious thing and something I wish I'd learnt about at school. I've had an unfortunate and life long inadequacy with mathematics. I came across this sequence and learnt about its significance and observation in the natural world, when I read 'Climbing Mount Improbable' by Richard Dawkins.
"The Fibonacci Series is a sequence of numbers first created by Leonardo Fibonacci in 1202. It is a deceptively simple series, but its ramifications and applications are nearly limitless. It has fascinated and perplexed mathematicians for over 700 years, and nearly everyone who has worked with it has added a new piece to the Fibonacci puzzle, a new tidbit of information about the series and how it works."
It is summed up poetically and cheekily in this site:
...and explained in beginners mathematical terms here: