Nature’s Depths

Walking through nature with John Palka, a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions

Exploration

Our Brightly Colored World

Exploration

The plants on Yellow Island, situated in the northwestern corner of Washington State, glow with literally all the colors of the rainbow, from blue, through green and yellow, and on to orange and red. They call out a question that scientists and philosophers have asked literally for centuries—how do leaves and flowers come to have the colors they do? Indeed, why are objects of any kind seen by us as having distinguishable colors?

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