don’t eat me! i’m not green (or even a plant)
DON’T EAT ME; I’M NOT EVEN A PLANT! That’s part of the survival message that anthocyanin-rich emerging shoots of things like species peonies (above, which of course is a plant in disguise) and bleeding heart and others that are non-green in the vulnerable early going put out to hungry herbivores. “Can’t you see, I’m not even green! Chew on somebody else!” I love the wild hues of spring foliage color as much as I love these non-green pigments when they shout out in autumn. More on anthocyanins in a little slideshow from the archive.