I found some shadow living plants under a redwood tree. They had rubbery leaves that nearly felt sticky. From what I could tell from the way the light sparkled off of the leaves, they felt this way because the surface of every leaf was covered with thousands of micro-facet surfaces. This plant only lived exactly in the redwoods shadow. I can’t imagine soil conditions would be that much different across such a fine line (1/4 inch between bushy plant and nothing), so I’m assuming it “actively” refused to grow if too much light.
I’m assuming this guy took an opposite approach to light loving plants. Rather than competing for bright light and dealing with its variability and problems moving between the two types of chloroplast, these guys probably maximize their low-light chloroplast year round while they chill, alone, in the shade, possibly unable to make any real amount of high-light chloroplast. I’m guessing the texture on the surface of the leafs has to do with maximizing the ambient light collected from the sky.
It would be *very* interesting to see if any of the tricks used by the plant could be used on the surface of low-light photovoltaic cells.
I’m guessing the texture, chloroplast placement, and things like the gradient of the index of refraction near the surface would all be interesting.