Blue leaves help begonias harvest energy in low light

   Iridescent blue leaves on some begonias aren’t just for show - they help the plants harvest energy in low light.
    The begonias’ chloroplasts, which use photosynthesis to convert light into fuel, have a repeating structure that allows the plants to efficiently soak up light. This comes in handy for a plant that lives on the shady forest floor. The structure acts as a “photonic crystal” that preferentially reflects blue wavelengths of light and helps the plant better absorb reds and greens for energy production, scientists report October 24 in Nature Plants.





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