Brightest Blue, Little Berry

Many plants depend on birds to disperse their seeds by eating their fruit. Colors that contrast with the plant’s foliage signal birds that the fruit is ready for plucking and nature does the rest.  Some fruits are bright red, some are white, some are multicolored. As long as the ripe fruit contrasts with the foliage the birds will flock to the plant.  Blue fruit might seem to be an exception since the color and value contrast is not that high between the fruit and the leaves. But we don’t see the same way birds do.  A bird’s eye view extends into the ultraviolet part of the spectrum and the waxy bloom on blue fruits is highly UV reflective.  That means that a blueberry might actually look bright and shiny red to a bird.

Last fall a group of scientists announced that the brightest and shiniest of all fruits is the Pollia Condensata. In fact, it is more iridescent and reflective than anything else in the natural world.  Check out this fascinating Wired article to understand why the color is so luminous.  Isn’t it gorgeous! The birds must love it!

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