why are some leaves red all year round?

jackbythehedgeDecember 8, 2009

I would like to know why a minority of species possess red leaves throughout the year. I understand this is due to the production of anthocyanins which is costly to the plant and so there must be some evolutionary benefit. Many species have leaves which go red in the fall and I am aware of various explanations why this may be to their advantage. However, this does not explain why some species have red leaves all of the time while most are green in spring and summer. Can anyone answer this question?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Red Leafed Plants: Evolution in Progress?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 9:37AM
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Great. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:22AM
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Interesting article, but it completely fails to mention the simple fact that all the really conspicuously red-leaved plants owe their existence to human selection for a trait considered desirable by many gardeners.


    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 5:56AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Footnote: Resin is on a one-man crusade to rid the world of red/purple and variegated plants. Someone needs to sneak into his yard one night and plant one of these:

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 10:20AM
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mdvaden_of_oregon(NW Oregon)

I just found a reddish pink leafed Huckleberry in Redwood National Park. Some folks who work around those parks told me that no pesticides are used in that area that they know of - where that plant is.

Something like Amitrol came to mind. Although anything I've seen with Amitrol pink died.

Anyhow, I'll be keeping an eye on that plant to see if it grows pinkish red yearly.

M. D. Vaden of Oregon

    Bookmark   December 17, 2009 at 8:10PM
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