The pocket-size berry of the pollia condensata plant, found across Africa,display the most blistering blue color ever seen in a plant.Yet it has no blue pigment.what is the secret behind it’s striking color?
The cell walls in the skin of the berry contain small threads arranged like rows of matches.These threads form layers,each layer set off at a slight angle to the layer below, so that the rising layers forms a spiral pattern. The threads themselves are not colored blue.
The color comes from the way the threads are loaded.Because of this, structure, no pigment, is the key to the Berry’s deep metallic shade and attractive color, Most cells appear blue.
But from different angles, some radiate a green, pink, or yellow color because of subtle changes in the layers.
Moreover, when looked closely,the colors are not smooth and even but appear pixelated, like the colors on a computer screen.
As long as pollia berries have no pigment, they drop from the plant.In fact, some berries collected over a centuries ago looks dazzling as fresh ones!.
Even though the Berry has no edible pulp, just seeds, It sends a signal to nearby birds which is impossible for them to resist, according to researchers.
Scientists believe that the pollia Berry’s pigment-free color could create products ranging from fade-resistant dyes to counter feit-resistant paper.