True color of leaves

David Mauzerall mauzera at ROCKVAX.ROCKEFELLER.EDU
Fri Mar 17 12:31:25 EST 1995


Dear Ray: Leaves are colored by the pigments they contain. They are bluish 
from the chlorophyll and yellowish from the carotenoids, resuling in the 
usual green. If the carotenoids predominate they can be reddish or purplish. 
In the fall, the chlorophyll goes before the carotenoids, exposing their colors 
alone. The carotenoids can also oxidize (as does the chlorophyll) to give some 
of the deeper colors of someleaves such as maples. The radio man was confusing 
chlorophyll and photosynthesis.



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