Hydrophobic comes from “Hydro” meaning water, “phobos” meaning fear and “ic’ meaning pertaining to. The property of being hydrophobic applies to a molecule that repels water. Hydrophobic compounds are usually non-polar, so they prefer non-polar solvents unlike water, which is polar. Some common hydrophobic molecules are oils and fats, which is why hydrophobic is often interchangeable with lipophilic (fat-loving), although not always. The water droplets on the photo are forming droplets rather than spreading on the leaf because of the leaf’s waxy hydrophobic cuticle.


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