Showing posts with label Chlorophyll. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chlorophyll. Show all posts

May 30, 2014


The color orange may have been named for the fruit, but the irony is that oranges usually are not the color orange. The color orange wasn’t defined until 1542, when it was cobbled together from words that had previously been used to refer to the fruit. Its first form was the Arabic word naranj and the Persian narang, which were both derived from a Sanskrit word, naranga.

Most oranges that come from their native tropical countries are not orange. In their natural, ripe state, in the warmer countries where they are grown, the outside of the orange is full of chlorophyll, making it green. In colder areas, the chlorophyll is killed by the cold weather, and similar to the leaves on a deciduous tree, the orange color of the flesh inside emerges through the green.

It is actually the green oranges that are ripe, and those that turn orange are on their way from their peak ripeness. Many people in the United States and Europe think of green fruit as being unripe, so some orange crops are turned orange unnaturally, exposed to flash freezing or ethylene gas to eliminate the chlorophyll in the skins.

Oct 12, 2012

What Fall Colors Mean

As the days turn longer, less sunlight means less oxygen and glucose for plants and leaves and ultimately less chlorophyll, which hides the reds, yellows and oranges. Different materials cause different colors in leaves. Red comes from glucose, brown from waste and purple from anthocyanin. Yellow is always present in leaves, but during spring and summer, the green overpowers it.

The timetable for leaf transformation runs from September through early November. Typically, the first to see breathtaking fall foliage are the Rockies, Upper Midwest, and New England. From there leaves begin to change further south into the Ohio Valley, Pacific Northwest, and Middle Atlantic toward mid and late October.

The first frost and time of leaf change typically go hand in hand. Within a week or so of the first frost, expect quick leaf transformation. Other factors such as the amount of water during the summer and early fall impact the full potential of color. More water means better color.