A few weeks ago, Minute Earth raised the question of why plants are green. After all, their green colour means they’re reflecting green light, so wouldn’t black plants that absorb all light be most efficient?
In theory, they would. But, for whatever reason, over time, it was plants that relied on chlorophyll — which gives them their green tint — that won the evolutionary race. Not only is chlorophyll more efficient at harnessing the sun’s energy to create sugar from water and carbon dioxide than other chemical factories, it also helps a plant capture almost 80 per cent of the light that hits it.
So the reason plants are green has more to do with an evolutionary survival of the fittest than the colour itself.