October 27, 2007


Provided and copyright by: Rebecca Roush
Summary authors & editors: Rebecca Roush

Along with being a lovely addition to urban gardens, Tropaeolum, more commonly known as nasturtium, in this photograph displays one of the ways it’s evolved for survival. The surface of the nasturtium leaf is made up of extremely fine structures that allow the plant to clean itself when it encounters moisture. As a result of the leaves’ unique surface, water rolls off and takes dirt with it. The majority of the water that forms on a nasturtium leaf actually never comes into contact with it. What little contact there is occurs on the reaches of the papillae, farthest from the leaf surface. Water is forced into the shape of a sphere, along with whatever dirt it encounters. Photo taken on July 18, 2007 in Seattle, Washington.

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