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Author Topic: Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?  (Read 9113 times)

Offline neilep

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« on: 25/10/2007 21:54:32 »
Dearest Foliage Fanciers,

See this leaf ?



Lovely isn't it ?..sitting there all green and busy being a leaf !....soon it'll turn red/brown and then fall off and die...ho hum !! (unless it's an evergreen !!)

Leaves are my all time favourite green, flattened, lateral structured things attached to a stem of a tree or plant !!

But...why are they shiny ?....or waxy ?....is the waxy stuff something that can be scraped away ?...what purpose does it serve ? and what happens to it in the Autumn (US TRANSLATION SERVICE --Autumn=Fall..Sheesh !!)

Could the waxy stuff be harvested ?...and for what ?

I just do not know....but ewe do !!...don't you ?

Hugs & Shmishes

neil
xxx

mwah mwah mwah !!





 

Offline Ophiolite

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #1 on: 26/10/2007 04:04:26 »
My recollection is that this is most common on plants growing in areas prone to high temperatures, low humidity and sparse rainfall. It is a device to facilitate retention of water within the plant.
 

Offline Alandriel

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #2 on: 27/10/2007 21:14:28 »

A 'waxy' texture helps the leave loose less moisture and prevents moulds from growing on it. A shiny surface deflects sunlight.

I don't know if the wax can be scraped away per se to be used in anyting but this wax contains in some plant species essential oils
..... and you know where I'm going to go from here  ;D
 

Offline JimBob

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #3 on: 27/10/2007 22:32:42 »
Where - to have a bubble bath with essential oils???
 

Offline Alandriel

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #4 on: 27/10/2007 23:36:51 »
Where - to have a bubble bath with essential oils???



 ;D YEP - good idea, better than to waffle on about steam distillation, fluid extraction, expression etc.
and the various properties those essentials can have on your health and well being.


... nothing like a practial application, right here, right now






 

Offline WylieE

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #5 on: 30/10/2007 03:38:51 »
The waxy stuff is partially composed of fatty acids linked together in a polymer.  Like Alandriel said, it's function for the plant is to prevent water loss and to protect against insects, bacteria, and fungi.  Each plant species has a different "signature" of chemical components that make up the wax depending on the environment it grows in. 

There are some waxes that are harvested from leaves.  For example, carnauba wax, from a tropical palm, is harvested and used in everything from dental wax, to beauty products, to Altoids.  Candelilla wax is another example.

There is some research being done on modifying plants to produce waxes that could be used for fuels and foods.

 

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Why Are Leaves Waxy/Shiny ?
« Reply #5 on: 30/10/2007 03:38:51 »

 

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