Why do Leaves appear Green?

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Why do Leaves appear Green?

Plants in general are green in color. Plant cells consist of a unique intra cellular organelle called as ‘chloroplast,,which is one of the intracellular organelles like mitochondria, Golgi complex, endoplasmic reticulum and many more. Chloroplast is the site for photosynthesis to occur. Photosynthesis is the process of synthesis of food in the plants by making use of light making chloroplasts available in all the cells of the plant.

The chloroplast consists of a pigment called ‘chlorophyll,. All the reactions in photosynthesis are divided into majorly two groups. First group is called light reaction and the second group is called dark reaction. Light reaction occurs in thylakoid membrane by making use of many enzymes in them along with the pigment ‘chlorophyll,. Thylakoid is a part of chloroplast.

The leaves appear green because of this pigment ‘chlorophyll,. Not only leaves, even the stem is also green in color in plants. The green color anywhere in the plant is due to chlorophylls in the chloroplasts. The green color can be explained in terms of a physical phenomenon. It is common in nature that when any object absorbs some light and reflects the remaining light wavelength, the color of the reflected light will be seen by us. Here chlorophyll absorbs red and blue wavelengths of light from the white light in the sun’s rays. It reflects green light wavelength which is about 520nm. Since it reflects green light, the leaves consisting of numerous chlorophylls also appear green as this light reaches our eye.

In nature, green color was also found to have the tendency to collect more energy by not making the object get heated much. Probably, that is why the Almighty has chosen chlorophyll to reflect green light. The chlorophyll molecules in the leaves are two, which are Chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b. They absorb light at higher wavelengths which is essential for carrying out photosynthesis so the lower wavelength green light is reflected and hence, allows us to see the leaves as green.

Author: Hari M

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