jtotheizzoe:

The Shiniest Stuff of Life
This African fruit has earned the title of shiniest living material on Earth. It’s from a plant called Pollia condensata, and its candy-painted hues are not the result of traditional pigments like we’re used to seeing in plants. Normally, the greens, yellows, reds and oranges we see in leaves and fruits are deposits of pigmented molecules like carotene or lycopene.
Like the exotic iridescence seen in butterfly wings and jeweled beetles, this berry’s sparkle and shimmer is actually due to complex molecular structures that stack like a series of psychedelic reflectors. Cambridge University biophysicists recently decoded those structures. For more details on the nano-optical magic, visit Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

so… shiny…

jtotheizzoe:

The Shiniest Stuff of Life

This African fruit has earned the title of shiniest living material on Earth. It’s from a plant called Pollia condensata, and its candy-painted hues are not the result of traditional pigments like we’re used to seeing in plants. Normally, the greens, yellows, reds and oranges we see in leaves and fruits are deposits of pigmented molecules like carotene or lycopene.

Like the exotic iridescence seen in butterfly wings and jeweled beetles, this berry’s sparkle and shimmer is actually due to complex molecular structures that stack like a series of psychedelic reflectors. Cambridge University biophysicists recently decoded those structures. For more details on the nano-optical magic, visit Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science.

so… shiny…

smithsonianmag:

 
This African Fruit Produces the World’s Most Intense Natural Color

The tiny, rock-hard fruits of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in the forests of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and other African countries, can’t be eaten raw, cooked or turned into a beverage. In Western Uganda and elsewhere, though, the plant’s small metallic fruits have long been used for decorative purposes because of an unusual property: They stay a vibrant blue color for years or even decades after they’ve been picked. A specimen at the Kew Botanical Gardens in London that was gathered in Ghana in 1974 still retains its iridescent hue.
Intrigued, a team of researchers from Kew, the University of Cambridge and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum decided to look into how this plant produces such dazzling and persistent color. When they attempted to extract a pigment to study, though, they were surprised to discover the fruit had none. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.

Photo: PNAS
Ed note: How creative minds are turning to nature for fresh design solutions.

smithsonianmag:

This African Fruit Produces the World’s Most Intense Natural Color

The tiny, rock-hard fruits of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in the forests of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and other African countries, can’t be eaten raw, cooked or turned into a beverage. In Western Uganda and elsewhere, though, the plant’s small metallic fruits have long been used for decorative purposes because of an unusual property: They stay a vibrant blue color for years or even decades after they’ve been picked. A specimen at the Kew Botanical Gardens in London that was gathered in Ghana in 1974 still retains its iridescent hue.

Intrigued, a team of researchers from Kew, the University of Cambridge and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum decided to look into how this plant produces such dazzling and persistent color. When they attempted to extract a pigment to study, though, they were surprised to discover the fruit had none. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.

Photo: PNAS

Ed note: How creative minds are turning to nature for fresh design solutions.