All plants contain chlorophyll, a green pigment that helps the plants photosynthesize and make food. It is this pigment that gives plant leaves their green tint.
As for purple leaves, they usually have high concentration of molecules called anthocyanins. Unlike chlorophyll, anthocyanins can appear red, purple, or blue, and are responsible for the bright colours of many fruits and flowers. Plants that have high anthocyanin concentrations relative to chlorophyll will therefore appear ‘less’ green and ‘more’ purple to our eyes.
Plants with leaf colour other than green can nonetheless perform photosynthesis just like green-leafed plants (if they did not, they would not live). The chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis is masked among the colourful pigmentation. According to said Sven Svenson, a research horticulturist with Oregon State University, “The chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis is ‘hiding’ within the leaf colour, whether it be purple, yellow or red. Our eyes lack the ability to see that chlorophyll is there.”
Check out these other titles recommendations:
1. Plant Parts and Their Uses / J DVD 582 PLA
2. How Do Plants Get Food / J 572 DAV
3. Big Leaves for Exotic Effect / 635.975 GRI
Posted by Lynnette