As a young student, Donald Culross Peattie was amazed to discover that plants breathe light:
"Using spectrum analysis, Peattie learned that the constituents of a chlorophyll molecule were eerily familiar. 'To me, a botanist's apprentice, a future naturalist,' he writes, 'there was just one fact to quicken the pulse. That fact is the close similarity between cholorphyll and hemoglobin, the essence of our blood.'
This is no fanciful comparison, but a literal, scientific analogy: 'The one significant difference in the two structural formulas is this: that the hub of every hemoglobin molecule is one atom of iron, while in chlorophyll it is one atom of magnesium.'
Just as chlorophyll is green because magnesium absorbs all but the green light spectrum, blood is red because iron absorbs all but the red.
Chlorophyll is green blood. It is designed to capture light; blood is designed to capture oxygen". *
This didn't just quicken the pulse, it stopped me in my tracks. I'm sure science majors and Master Gardeners learned this, but I never knew.
Gardening has so much to teach me. I have so much to learn.
Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth to all the creatures breathing oxygen and all those breathing light in our world.
* Quoted from Tree, A Life Story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady (it follows the 500 year life of one douglas fir). Also, read Donald Culross Peattie's book: Flowering Earth.
This is the chemical diagram, if it helps.