In just a few weeks, the Northeast will be ablaze with color. For reasons that will seem apparent to Blossom Water lovers, we are particularly fond of red and purple foliage. We know why we love these colors so much – they are just like our Pomegranate Geranium and our Plum Jasmine – but what makes this Fall magic happen?
The leaves of deciduous trees in summer are green primarily because of chlorophyll, the green pigment responsible for photosynthesis. We all learned this in elementary school, but many of us have forgotten the magic bit: the green pigment is just a mask that hides all the other colors that already exist within the leaf.
The cool weather and shorter daylight hours kill off the chlorophyll and cause the leaf to lose its mask. Those unmasked fall colors are what makes this time of year so incredible. Some trees are even named specifically for their magnificent fall color (Autumn Blaze Maple and Burning Bush come to mind).
“The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. Generally speaking, the more glucose in the leaves, the brighter the color. ” (http://forestry.about.com/)
These red pigments are also found in cranberries, red apples, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, and plums and pomegranate. No wonder we love them so much!Tags: Boston, Cape Cod, chlorophyll, Foliage, Northeast, Plum Jasmine, Pomegranate Geranium