Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Blue Leaves
Name: Karina
Status: Student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
I'm brazilian. Sorry for my english, I don't know to speak and to write in english. But I can to read, then you can to answer that I know to understand.

My question: "Why havem't blue leafs?"



Replies:
Dear Karina,

Blue is possible:
http://www.sigmaxi.org/amsci/articles/97articles/Lee.html

Sincerely,
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


I think you mean why are there no blue leaves? Plants get their energy for food by the process of photosynthesis. The chloroplasts in the leaves contain pigments (colors) that absorb red and blue light and reflect green and yellow light. Since leaves depend on photosynthesis and since the blue light is needed, then a plant would die without using the blue light. So no blue light is reflected and so you don't see any blue light coming from any leaves. Sometimes leaves are red, but underneath the red there is green.

Van Hoeck


Hi Karina!

I am brazilian too and so it is an extra pleasure to answer to you. And you write nicely in English. The reason why there are no blue leaves is exactly because all leaves (oh almost all) are green... And they are green due to the presence of a green pigment named chlorophyll. The chlorophylls (there are 2 different types) have the most important role for the vegetals and also for all the Earth, the photosynthesis.

All free energy consumed by biological systems arises from solar energy that is trapped by the process of photosynthesis. The basic equation of photosynthesis is:

H2O + CO2 + light = (CH2O) + O2
((CH2O) represents a carbohydrate)

Photosynthesis occurs in green plants and its mechanism is quite complex. The first step is the absortion of light by a chlorophyll molecule. The energy is transferred from one chlorophyll to another until it reaches a chlorophyll with special properties at a site called the reaction center. There light is converted into chemically useful energy at 2 kinds of reaction centers that are both required for photosynthesis to happen.

I hope you followed well my (broken) english... if not ask again and i'll try to put it in portuguese, OK?

And... it is a pity that so few brazilians know and use NEWTON...

Tell your friends..

Mabel
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues).



Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory