Pollia condensata fruit uses structural color to get it's brilliant appearance.
(Phys.org)—The 'brightest' thing in nature, the Pollia condensata fruit, does not get its blue colour from pigment but instead uses structural colour – a method of reflecting light of particular wavelengths- new research reveals. The study was published today in the journal PNAS.
Most colours around us are the result of pigments. However, a few examples in nature – including the peacock, the scarab beetle and now the Pollia condensata fruit – use structural colour as well.
Fruits are made of cells, each of which is surrounded by a cell wall containing cellulose. However, the researchers found that in the Pollia condensata fruit the cellulose is laid down in layers, forming a chiral (asymmetrical) structure that is able to interact with light and provide selective reflection of only a specific colour. As a result of this unique structure, it reflects predominately blue light.