Large color variations can be observed across the face of a flower even when individual petals are the same color. We investigated whether these color variations could be explained by a model that incorporates multiple reflections of light between petals and transmissions of light through petals before the light returns to the observer. The three flowers that we selected for the study exhibited large color variations across the face of the intact flower but had no significant observable difference in color saturation across a single petal or between petals when petals were removed from the flower. We used a spectroradiometer to measure the spectrum across the faces of intact flowers and across individual petals. The measured spectra for all of the flowers were consistent with the proposed model.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(330.1710) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color, measurement
Original Manuscript: July 26, 1999
Revised Manuscript: January 10, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: January 13, 2000
Published: May 1, 2000
Michael P. Eckert and Gregory A. Carter, "Flowers produce variations in color saturation by arranging petals at oblique and varying angles," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 825-830 (2000)