Leaves of tropical plants such as Leptospermum recapture light with purple pigment.

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“On the floor of a well-established forest, the light may be very dim indeed.” Some plants in Borneo’s tropical rain forests “maximise the meagre light that falls on them in a different way. They coat the underside of their leaves with a purple pigment. This catches the light after it has passed through the thickness of the leaf and redirects it back into the leaf tissues so that the chlorophyll has a second chance to utilise what is left of it.” (Attenborough 1995:47-48)

Book
The Private Life of PlantsAugust 21, 1995
David Attenborough

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