Home » A - Z Challenge » Xanthophyll


My theme for the A to Z
Challenge is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was the
author of the Little House books and there was a television
series very loosely based on the books. I began reading the
books when I was eleven years old (which even I have a hard
time believing is over 40 years ago!). If you would like to
read about my feelings about Laura, visit this site. I have also listed helpful sites and blogs in my sidebar if you would like to learn more.

X is for Xanthophyll.

“Xanthophyll,” said Pa. It seemed impossible now that anyone could spell that dreadful word, but Laura thought, Pa can, he must, he’s GOT to!
“X-a-n, zan,” said Pa; “t-h-o, tho, zantho; p-h-y-” He seemed slower, perhaps, than he was. “Double-l,” he said.
Mr. Clewett clapped the speller shut. There had never been such thundering applause as that applause for Pa. He had spelled down the whole town.
                                               -Little Town on the Prairie,
Chapter 18: Literaries
                                                by Laura Ingalls Wilder

And that’s the only time in my life I’d ever seen or heard the word “xanthophyll” until –

I picked up this book (at a maple syrup supply store)
Maple Sugar
From Sap to Syrup
The History, Lore, and How-To Behind this Sweet Treat
By Tim Herd

 It’s actually a very interesting read. And on page 62 –

In a remarkable season finale, these formerly hidden hues become the dominant eye-catchers. The yellow pigment, one of the xanthophylls; orange carotene pigments; and the deep reds and purples of anthocyanins combine in billions of one-of-a-kind leaf-sized masterpieces.

From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

Definition of XANTHOPHYLL:
any of several yellow to orange carotenoid pigments that are oxygen derivatives of carotenes; especially : lutein

So…there you go! 

 **Join me and many other Laura fans at LauraPalooza 2012 (the
second-ever Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference), which will be held July
12-14, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. For more information visit Beyond Little House and look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. The pull down menu will have all of the information that you are looking for!**


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