This beautiful flower is actually a tiny crystal (about 50 microns across) that was coaxed into forming these delicate shapes by manipulating the temperature, acidity and carbon dioxide level of the water in which it was grown.
Spiky flowers grown on a base of budded globs show off the researchers’ ability to design complex forms using this new technique.
Wim L. Noorduin, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
You can see the rest of the slideshow here. The images were originally in black and white, by the way. The colors were added later. At first, I was disappointed to read that, but then I realized that it's really the shapes that are amazing.