Here's your red things in nature fact of the day. On my way to work this morning, I was pondering what red plant I wanted to feature today. I saw a Japanese maple and it got my curiosity going. I know that most trees lose chlorophyll in the fall and it reveals their other colors of red, orange, and yellow. I wondered how a plant with red leaves thrives. Does it use something OTHER than chlorophyll? Here's what I found out. Red leaves contain something called anthocyanin. That's what makes them red. The leaves DO contain chlorophyll, but the anthocyanin levels are much greater. In shady areas, the leaves of Japanese maples tend to darken and look muddy because the plant has to produce more chlorophyll to drive the photosynthesis process. This is why most Japanese maples produce their best color in full sun where excess chlorophyll is not needed to gather the sun's energy. The lower levels of chlorophyll are still enough for the Japanese maple to form energy. I love learning new things! It's always good to be curious! #redweek #red #trees #japanesemaple #natureclub

Posted by Mel Grosvenor at 2021-05-18 12:24:37 UTC