We’ve been following the Kardashians on social media for years now, which means we’ve scrolled past our fair share of over-the-top flower arrangements, courtesy of Jeff Leatham. We’ve seen mounds of flowers shaped into hearts, skulls, and paw prints — and flowers arranged to spell out names and titles like "Mommy." However, we recently spotted what was unmistakably one of Leathem’s signature bouquets on an Insta grid of a celebrity that does not bear the K.K. or K.J. initials.
On Wednesday, Chrissy Teigen posted a photo of her two-year-old daughter Luna standing next to a gigantic ball of pink and yellow roses. Accompanying the picture, Teigen wrote, "Joey Lawrence WHOA @kimkardashian thank you!! Going to open a potpourri business in about one week taking orders now!" Of course, the gift was sent by a Kardashian: it was most likely a congratulatory present given in celebration of the recent birth of Teigen's son, Miles Theodore Stephens.
Though this one arrangement is nothing compared to the number of flowers Kylie Jenner had in her home after giving birth to her daughter Stormi in February, the perfect sphere still begged an important question: Exactly how many roses did Kim Kardashian send Chrissy Teigen? Finding out the answer turned out to be quite a challenge.
Because we already know it's near-impossible to get celebrity florist Jeff Lathem to divulge the secrets of his craft, we turned to math, which, unfortunately, this writer forgot most of immediately after graduating high school. After crowd souring help from my co-workers, I ended up with the following answer. A Refinery29 production coordinator gave us this informative, yet hilarious geometry lesson: "Since the arrangement is about the height of Luna, and Luna is two, and the average height of a 2-year-old girl is 34 inches, we can call the radius 17 inches. Using the above formula, that gives us a surface area of 3,629.84 square inches. The roses themselves look to be about 3 inches wide, so their surface area is about 7.065 square inches. Dividing that gives us approximately 514 roses. That's assuming they go all the way around."
514 roses is a lot, but it seemed like nothing compared to the amount that went into, say, the much larger than life ombre pink bunny at Kris Jenner's Easter party. Based on Lathem's past work for the Kardashian-Jenner clan, I still thought there might be more than 514 roses in this arrangement, so I did what any celebrity-obsessed, math-averse person would do. I asked a mathematician to do the calculations for me.
Miranda Holmes-Cerfon, an applied mathematician and assistant professor of mathematics at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, tells Refinery29 via email, "It looks like there are about 21 roses going across the largest equator of the bouquet. The length of the largest equator is half the circumference = pi x r, where r is the radius of the bouquet, assuming it is a sphere. So r = 21/pi ~ 6.6 roses. The surface area of a sphere is 4 x pi x r^2 ~ 560 roses. So I would guess about 500 to 600 roses, say 550."
Professor Holmes-Cerfon went even more in-depth with her response to my somewhat ridiculous inquiry. "I did notice that the roses look particularly nicely packed: notice how almost every rose has 6 neighbors surrounding it, like a crystal on the plane, which is known to have the highest packing density. However, there are mathematical reasons why you can’t cover the whole sphere with such a crystal — there have to be some roses (at least 12) with 5 neighbors. I can see a couple in the picture, but it could be that most of these 'defects' are buried on the underside of the bouquet." Is that some subtle shade? Though I don't totally understand about half of the words in that statement, I certainly appreciate Professor Holmes-Cerfon humoring me.
If there are indeed about 550 roses in the arrangement Chrissy Tiegen recently received, that means Kim Kardashian spent a least a couple thousand dollars on the gift. Wholesale roses are priced at around $3.05 per stem. With basic multiplication — for which I used a calculator in order to assure accuracy — I was able to conclude that the flowers themselves cost around $1,677.50. With an additional fee for Leatham's time, energy, and design expertise, the arrangement most likely cost well over $2,000.