Nature’s Sun Protection

Red Roses - Leaves 1

Red Roses – Leaves 1

Have you ever wondered why new rose leaves first appear a bright red?

Red Roses - Leaves 2

Red Roses – Leaves 2

It is nature’s sun protection! Instead of slapping on SPF 50, as you need to do here in Cape Town in summer, clever roses simply sprout red leaves. This protects the delicate new growth until it is robust enough to withstand the searing sun, turn green and produce chlorophyll.


post script: The red colour in the leaves and stems is caused by the presence of anthocyanins, which protect the delicate new growth from harmful UV rays. As the plant matures the anthocyanins disperse leaving the leaves green.



16 thoughts on “Nature’s Sun Protection

    1. scifihammy Post author

      Agh! Sorry – sent too soon!
      Some roses have leaves that are much redder than others, and they have the really red rose petals on the flower πŸ™‚
      My photo was from my deep red rose bush that has a wonderful scent when in bloom πŸ™‚


  1. dizzylizzie72

    Had never wondered why they were red. Just thought that was the way it was suppose to work. Thanks for giving me another tid bit of information about plants. Learn something new every day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. scifihammy Post author

      hehe Yes (Tho I had to look up Padawan!!) My daughter Pix told me about this red leaf effect ages ago, and I thought it was so cool. πŸ™‚


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