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I had learnt in a plant biology course that, all the flowers are actually originating from leaves, with several mutations. I wonder what makes a flower sparkly like this.

Photos belong to a Phalaenopsis Orchid (White) (under direct sunlight) . But I believe this can be observed in many plants.

When searched for it, I saw one explanation on that they shine right after they are watered. But I observed this long after the plant was watered. So I guess this is not the case.

Also I've read about the pigments that absorbs different wavelenghts and give the plant its color. But I couldn't find an explanation about this sparkling view.

Another thing I read was about the shiny views of some flowers, like buttercup flower. It is said that this is originating from flat cell shapes. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5332578/). But again, this is different than what I am asking.

Biology is not my major (probably as you have already guessed :)), so I might not be searching it with the right keywords. So I will be glad to get some help. Thank you :)!


Another photo, taken with flash light. The shiny view is only in the side leaves (petals and sepals), not in the middle parts.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ hi new user and welcome! please provide name of the flower, and also any research you did to asnwer this question yourself $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 17:27
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hi, sure. Actually photo was just an example, I observe this in many flowers. Still, I will edit my question. Thank you :) $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 19:10
  • $\begingroup$ Also what lighting conditions &c. From a quick look, the "sparkles" look like they might be small drops of water. Have you looked at them under a microscope? $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 19:15
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    $\begingroup$ @GabrielFair this is something you can see with your naked eye in direct sunlight on daffodil petals as well as iris petals. I'm sure you can see it on many others but those are places I have seen flowers sparkle like this. $\endgroup$
    – L.B.
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ @jamesqf As you had Said, that sparkles really look like tiny water droplets (nearly microscopic). Actually they more look to me like some cyrstals, like a snow surface. I have looked those transpiration photos. I couldn't catch a simular image though.. Those droplets are very big and seems to be at the surface of the leaf. Mine seems like they are at the inner tissue. It might be because they are very small scaled. I also searched it as "petal transpiration" but couldn't find a simular image yet. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 20, 2019 at 5:09


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