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Foliage: Plants' Miniature Factories

Go green: plant something!

Leaves come in an amazing array of shapes and sizes. There are small leaves and big leaves, short and long, pointed and rounded. They come in solid green or display a kaleidoscope of colors. Yet the greatest thing about leaves is that they're all miniature chemical factories.

Through the process known as photosynthesis, leaves capture sunlight and take in carbon dioxide from the air. They then use the water and minerals absorbed by the roots to produce the starches and sugars that sustain the plant. Plus, there's a byproduct of that process that life itself depends on: oxygen.

That's why the greenest thing you can do is to plant something. Plants make for a healthier planet by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and pumping it full of oxygen.

Of course, you don't need to understand the technical aspects of leaves to appreciate their beauty. But a little knowledge about the enormous value of leaves and the impact they have on the environment may help you appreciate them all the more.

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