Flower in Blue or Black

Edward K. Gilding egilding at lava.net
Sun Jan 21 00:28:12 EST 1996

In article <4dqn8d$57h at lantana.singnet.com.sg>, 
ayeongcw at singnet.com.sg@singnet.com.sg says...
>Can anybody tell me is there flower in blue or black colour? I mean 
>not by artificial culture method.
>If not, what are the reasons? I have not seen any blue or black real 
flowers in
>my life.
>I am very curious to know the anwers. Appreciate if anyone can reply me.
If youre looking for something REALLY blue, try a pea vine called 
Clitorea trenea.  It seems you can't capture to color on film, and it 
actually looks purple under indoor lighting, but when you look at it 
under the sun its a deep true sapphire blue with a white ring around a 
yellow center.  Pretty easy to grow from seeds.

Well, why aren't flowers black? and why is blue a rather uncommon color?
Well black absorbs light (thats why black it black, it doesn't reflect 
light).  And most (if not all) pollenators use light to find their food 
source, nectar.  Plants use flowers for reproduction (its quite odd, when 
I think about it, the cut flower industry is really the sale of plant 
Gonads!).  Now if the pollenators can find the flowers, then the plant 
obviously loses out, it can't produce seeds and thus a new generation.  
However, there are a few close-to-black flowers, I know there are black 
pansies, and a 'black' tomato(i know it isn't a flower, but just for 
interests sake), and a black hoya.  There are alot of browns in 
Stapeliads (plants that use fowl smell and dead-colors to attract flies, 
their pollenators).

Blue is rather uncommon for plants, and I really don't know exactly why 
that is.  Maybe blue is so close to green that the flowers dont stand out 
next to the foilage??  I know that insects use the blue-ultraviolet 
section of the spectrum to find flowers.  I also know that some plants 
are simply incapable of producing blue pigment (like cacti) in their 
flowers.  The blue dahlia is the elusive prize that many dahlia 
enthusiasts wish they had.  

hope some of this helped somehow,

egilding at lava.net

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