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Posted by: Sandy Steinman | June 13, 2012

What Makes Buttercups Shine?

California Buttercup by Sandy Steinman

Science Daily reports on research that explains the shiny bright and glossy color of Buttercups (Ranunculus species)  The researchers explain that the bright appearance is the result of special features of the flower’s petal structure.

“The epidermal layer of cells has not one but two extremely flat surfaces from which light is reflected. One is the top of the cells, the other exists because the epidermis is separated from the lower layers of the petal by an air gap. Reflection of light by the smooth surface of the cells and by the air layer effectively doubles the gloss of the petal, explaining why buttercups are so much better at reflecting light under your chin than any other flower.”

Read more at Science Daily  Why buttercups reflect yellow on chins: Research sheds light on children’s game and provides insight into pollination.


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