laurel (sailorhathor) wrote in little_details,

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Black plants and whether or not they're edible

Hi, I'm working on a book that features aliens from a planet that orbits a red dwarf star. One of the theories I've read through research is that the plants on this planet would be black and dark purple. One of the sites that I read explained it this way:

As indicated in NASA studies announced in 2007, plants evolved under dim red dwarf suns or in more distance habitable orbits around a brighter star may appear black to Human eyes because they would probably need to absorbing [sic] more parts of the visible wavelength range to more effectively exploit as much of the available light as possible. Indeed, some in particularly dim environments may also evolve to use energy from infrared or ultraviolet radiation to power photosynthesis.

My question is would these plants be edible? If so, what would they taste like? I posed this question to another forum and the replies dealt with them being edible as long as an overabundance of chlorophyll is not toxic. However, another answer said to the effect, "I can think of many reasons they would not be edible besides the chlorophyll." When I pressed this person to elaborate, they either ignored or did not see the question, because they never replied. So I'm a bit confused.

I've seen black variations of various Earth plants that are edible, including black tomatoes, and I've been told they taste sweeter than red tomatoes. Could this then be applied to alien plants? The black tomatoes I've seen had green stems, though, where alien plants probably would not (their stems being dark colored as well). Does this make some sort of difference?

Any info that could be provided will help me think it through. Thanks!

Search terms: Anything I used ("black plants edible," "red dwarf planet black plants edible") just came up with the same theories I've already read (which didn't answer this question) or articles about plants from Earth.
Tags: ~plants, ~science: astronomy
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