Why are there so many different shades of green? Isn't it all just chlorophyll?


There are so many different shades of green in plants!

It isn’t all just chlorophyll. There are other pigments in plants like beta-carotenes which are orange/red (they give carrots their orange color). And there isn’t a single chlorophyll either. Chlorophyll-a and chlorophyll-b both have slightly different absorption spectra. And each plant has its own variation of these pigments depending on how much sunlight it needs for food-making, whether they are shade-loving plants, etc etc.

It was eye-opening during my bio degree that plants have soooooooooooooo much color variation than just GREEN and the whole biochem behind it broke and then remade my brain

Looks like 50 shades of green, botanical edition!

I’d watch 50 shades of green, a documentary on plants. David Attenborough voice and David Goodsell’s art

@darwinsfinches is right, plants have more pigments than just chlorophyll. The environment can change how much of which pigment is in the plant. Think of the red leaves during autumn/fall.
We’ve written an article on this: https://www.scienceabc.com/nature/why-do-you-see-different-shades-of-green-in-a-garden.html

You can check it out for answers!



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