Have you ever wondered why almost all plants are green? If so, you may have heard of chlorophyll, which is a pigment found in all parts that are green, such as leaves, and in some cases also in the trunk, flowers, and even roots (as in plants). of Phalaenopsis orchids).
But the answer to that question is not as simple as it seems. Yes, it is because of the chlorophyll, but… it also has a lot to do with the eye and, above all, with the brain.since it is thanks to him that we can ‘see’, since it is he who combines the information he receives from the eyeballs and generates the colors that we later see. And not only that: depending on whether you are human, dog, cat or another animal, you will be able to see only a certain number of colors and at a greater or lesser intensity than the rest of living beings.
How do humans see colors?
For a very long time, and we are talking about millennia, it was believed that human beings saw with their eyes. This is very logical, not in vain, they are the organs that connect us with the outside. Every morning, the first thing we do is open them to start our day to day. When we have vision problems, such as myopia, the ophthalmologist (or eye doctor) will tell us how to take care of our eyes and what we can do to make them functional.
What they don’t tell us, probably because we didn’t ask, is that it is the neurons of the brain that are responsible for deciphering all the information that our eyes see. To explain it in a simple way, it would be as if we wanted to learn to speak a language totally unknown to us, such as Chinese or Japanese. At first, we would only see strange signs, but little by little, thanks to study, we would learn to read in that language.
As well. The eyes see these strange signs, and it is the brain that gives them a meaning. And that is why we can say “this is how the world looks”. But, how do we see colors
Believe it or not, colors do not exist, or rather, light is color, and it is what the eye captures. In it we find two types of cells, rods and cones, which are responsible for collecting different parts of the spectrum of sunlight, the colors, which are reflected on a surfaceand they are the ones that are sent in the form of electrical impulses to the brain so that it can interpret them.
In the human eye, these cells are sensitive to the colors blue, green, and red. When we see, for example, a yellow flower, it is because those cells sensitive to green and red have been stimulated at the same time.. And if we see most green plants, it is because that is the color that is reflected in them when the light hits them.
But there is still more: depending on how that surface is and the type of light that is reflected, some colors or others will be seen depending on its wavelength. And although there are graphs that serve to give us an idea of what these are, we can say that none of us sees the world exactly the same: either because they have some vision problem, or in the brain, or simply because their nature makes them see the world the way they do.
Why are many of the plants green?
Green is the color we relate to life and nature. The vast majority of plants look that color, because it is the one that is reflected on their surface when light hits them. But why? for the chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is a pigment found in plants, but also in some algae. It is essential so that they can perform photosynthesis, and therefore so that they can transform the energy of the sun and transform it into energy. But also it is what gives them the green color, because it absorbs light in the blue, red and violet wavelengths, and reflects the green.
How do non-green plants photosynthesize?
We have said that chlorophyll is essential for them to photosynthesize, but what about plants that are a color other than green? These only contain chlorophyll in their green parts, if any; otherwise, their levels of carotenoids, which are another type of photosynthetic pigment, would be much higher than in green plants.
For example, these are what make carrots orange, Galia melon yellow, or Japanese maple red… well, purple (not exactly red).
This does not mean that green plants do not have carotenoids, since they do.but for them chlorophylls are more useful.
What did you think of this topic?