Categories
Biochemistry

Peonin and the colour of peonies

Peonies bloom fleetingly at the end of spring and start of summer, usually only lasting around 10 days. Inspired by this tweet from Dr Jess Wade, here’s a quick look at the molecule which gives them their colour. There’s more on the pH dependence of anthocyanin colour here.

Categories
Biochemistry

The chemistry of tulips and tulip fingers

‘Tulip fingers’ might sound like a bizarre floral-themed version of Edward Scissorhands, but it’s actually a condition that can be caused by skin contact with tulip bulbs. It’s common amongst workers in the tulip industry, whose jobs involve sorting and packaging of tulip bulbs. This graphic takes a look at the compounds behind the condition.

Categories
Biochemistry

Do daffodils kill other flowers in vases?

Spring is here, and daffodils are blooming. You might have some in your garden, or you might pick some up at a florist to put in a vase at home. If you do, it’s a good idea to place them in a vase on their own – there are chemical reasons why daffodils and other […]

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Biochemistry C&EN

The Chemistry of Daffodils – in C&EN

In the Northern Hemisphere spring is beginning to emerge from winter, heralded by the blooming of bright yellow daffodils. This graphic featured in C&EN a few years back and looks at some interesting chemical facets of this seasonal flower: what causes its smell, its colour, and a surprising link to Alzheimer’s treatments. View the full […]

Categories
Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chemistry of Roses

Roses are the flower most closely associated with Valentine’s Day – and we’ve got chemistry to thank for both their colour and aroma! In this post we take a closer look at the chemical compounds involved.

Categories
Aroma Chemistry Biochemistry

The Chemical Compounds Behind the Smell of Flowers

With Valentine’s Day upcoming, part of your Valentine’s plan may well involve sending flowers. These come in an array of different colours, and also have a range of different scents. What are the chemical compounds behind these scents? That’s the question that this graphic tries to answer, with a more detailed discussion of each below.