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Super Blue Berry: The Natural World's Most Intense Color

The most intense color in the biological world belongs to a tiny African berry. Iridescent blue and metallic, it literally outshines any other plant or animal substance in the world. Researchers have now explained the material magic underlying its marvelous hues: layers of cells that refract light i...
  • Rachael Shoppell-Haber

    This African Fruit Produces the World’s Most Intense Natural Color The tiny, rock-hard fruits of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in the forests of Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania and other African countries, can’t be eaten raw, cooked or turned into a beverage. In Western Uganda and elsewhere, though, the plant’s small metallic fruits have long been used for decorative purposes because of an unusual property: They stay a vibrant blue color for years

  • Camino Nomada

    The world’s most intense natural color comes from an African fruit, the blue berries of Pollia condensata, a wild plant that grows in East Africa. It uses an uncommon structural coloration method to produce the most intense natural color ever measured. Instead of pigments, the fruit’s brilliant blue results from nanoscale-size cellulose strands layered in twisting shapes, which which interact with each other to scatter light in all directions.

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