A number of English poets, including Wordsworth and Shakespeare, have written on the beauty of daffodils, large yellow flowers which are native to Europe. Daffodils catch poets’ eyes because they are champion twisters. This is what biomechanics expert Steven Vogel of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, discovered recently.
Plants can’t be too flexible, or they would never stay upright. Instead, they turn. Many leaves have long, thin stems that twist, so that the wind slips over instead of catching them like sails. Daffodil stems are triangular to help them turn their backs on the breeze, and so avoid breaking off while remaining upright. This makes them dance and move more than flowers such as tulips.