Structural coloration at work.
You’re forgiven for thinking someone went at these berries with a few shades of fancy nail polish. The fact is, it’s a natural phenomenon. Pollia condensata, or the “marble berry,” uses spiraled layers of cellulose to create this iridescent effect, producing what scientists call the most intense blue coloration of any biological material.
The human benefits end with the aesthetic: these African berries aren’t anything you’d want to snack on, and because the blue isn’t the effect of a pigment, you won’t find them coloring textiles anytime soon. —MN