Friday, October 12, 2012

Leaves Green in Color

Why are leaves green in color?

            Leaves come in various color but most often they are green. Do you know why the leaves of almost all plants are found in this color?

            We know that the color of any substance depends upon its property of absorption and reflection of the different colors of light. The leaves of the plant appear colored due to the presence of some specific substances in them. For example, the presence of chlorophyll makes them appear green while the presence of carotene makes them yellow.

 Chlorophyll gives the leaves their green colour

            When the leaf contains more than one substance, the color is a mixture. The leaves, which contain both chlorophyll and carotene, appear yellowish green.

            New leaves of some plants contain a red substance called anthocyanin, which gives the pink or red color to the tender leaves. With the passage of time, chlorophyll and carotene are formed in these leaves, which ultimately turn them green.

            The structure of chlorophyll molecules is such that when the sunlight (mixture of seven colors) falls on them, they reflect the green color and absorb the rest. It is this green light that is visible and makes the leaf green.

            Plants synthesize their food with the help of chlorophyll in the presence of the sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. This process is called photosynthesis. Plants without chlorophyll like fungi cannot make their own food. They depend on other living beings. Such plants are called parasites.

            So, you see chlorophyll is very important substance for plants. Apart from imparting the green color to them, chlorophyll also helps a plant to synthesis’ food.