Flower petal cells

I conducted this project as part of Professor Pringle’s EEB 321 class at Princeton University.

This image shows the flower petal cell layer as seen through a foldscope. Upon the completion of building my foldscope, I immediately looked for something to analyze. Outside our classroom was a flower that had just started to wilt in the cold weather. I was interested in the color as it was clearly a pink flower when looking with the eyes but when examining it closer with the foldscope, it appears white. I am interested in how the color of the flower is so muted when looking close but so obvious when looking at an arms length. Normally when I think about the color of an object I expect the closer I come, the more saturated it looks. However with the pale pink of the flower, it appears that the pink is distributed through white, so when looking closely it is easy to miss the areas that have color. In the future, I would like to look at different plants and see how they distribute pigment and how it impacts the appearance when looking through a magnifier.

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