Nature's palette : the science of plant color by David Lee

By David Lee

Though he didn’t understand it on the time, David Lee started this publication twenty-five years in the past as he was once mountaineering within the mountains outdoors Kuala Lumpur. Surrounded by way of the wonders of the jungle, Lee came upon his realization attracted to one plant particularly, a species of fern whose electrical blue leaves shimmered amidst the encircling eco-friendly. The evolutionary ask yourself of the fern’s extravagant good looks crammed Lee with awe—and set him on a career-long trip to appreciate every little thing approximately plant colors.

Nature’s Palette
is the absolutely ripened fruit of that journey—a hugely illustrated, immensely enjoyable exploration of the technology of plant colour. starting with powerful reminders of ways deeply interwoven plant colours are with human existence and culture—from the transferring colors that informed early people while vegetables and fruit have been fit to be eaten to the indigo dyes that signified royalty for later generations—Lee strikes simply via info of pigments, the evolution of colour belief, the character of sunshine, and dozens of different issues. via a story peppered with anecdotes of a lifestyles spent pursuing botanical wisdom world wide, he finds the profound ways in which efforts to appreciate and make the most plant colour have encouraged each sphere of human existence, from natural chemistry to Renaissance portray to the hugely profitable orchid trade.

Lavishly illustrated and choked with extraordinary info bound to pride gardeners and naturalists alike, Nature’s Palette will enchant someone who’s ever puzzled approximately purple roses and blue violets—or eco-friendly thumbs.

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Leaves of certain plants are brilliantly colored, and so they provided a range of permanent color and are still planted adjacent to village huts, suburban houses, and urban parks and gardens throughout the world. Juices and extracts of plants had many uses, determined experimentally over time. Some plants and their extracts were medicinal. Many colored the skin, and dyed fabrics or leathers used in clothing. Compared to plants and other animals, the diversity of colors produced by the human body is paltry.

Such droughts meant widespread famine among the peasants in ancient Egypt. Thus green was associated with growth, abundance, and water. Egyptians developed several bright and durable green pigments, used in the artwork in King Tut’s tomb. Baskets of woven and colorfully dyed fabrics were placed in the tomb and surrounded the mummies. The fabrics were exclusively linens, woven from fibers of the flax plant. Flax was domesticated in the Near East, and records of its use long predate Egyptian civilization.

Newton on Light Isaac Newton held to the view that light consisted of corpuscles. His experiments on light led to his famous treatise Optiks. Newton studied the splitting of a ray of sunlight into separate rays of different colors, showing that a prism split “white” light into colors that were displaced at different angles to each other, blue much more than red (fig. 6). 6 Newton observed that a prism separates white light into a spectrum of colored light, with the blues bent more than the reds.

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