Saturday, October 22, 2011

Curriculum Resource: Explaining Fall Colors

Today was such a gorgeous fall day--sunny and crisp, with the leaves finally starting to change color here in Piedmont North Carolina.  So it is time for me to review the exact chemistry behind the transformation of our local trees.  I know the general principle, but I always forget what the exact chemical processes are that produce the specific colors.

But I stumbled upon this explanation from USA Today that I thought was really good.  It has a nice interactive graphic that shows the true colors in leaves being hidden by the chlorophyll during the summer, but eventually being revealed in the fall.  They also have a part where you can see which types of leaves turn which colors.  Meanwhile, the article reviews the chemical processes that produce yellow versus red leaves.  Just what I was looking for!

You can check out the article here.

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