Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum

Autumnal highlights: Wearing red regardless

Posted: October 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm Author: Caroline Bennett

As part of Westonbirt's activities for families this October, Caroline Bennett from our Learning and Participation Team has created a trail of autumnal highlights which will run from 29 October - 2 November. Here are some of the fascinating facts she has researched...

Purple beech

Some leaves, like those of the purple beech, are always red. But why is this?

Leaf colour depends on the balance of different chemicals within each leaf. Red is caused by anthocyanin.

Purple varieties occur when anthocyanin levels are high enough to mask the green chlorophyll. The reddest leaves are found on the outside of the canopy; shaded leaves tend to be greener.

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