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Blue rose


Since roses lack a gene to produce delphinidin, the primary plant pigment that produces true blue flowers, blue roses were traditionally created by dyeing white roses. So-called "blue roses" have been bred by conventional hybridization methods, but the results, such as "Blue Moon" are more accurately described as lilac in color. However, after 13 years of joint research by an Australian company Florigene, and Japanese company Suntory, a blue rose was created in 2004 using genetic engineering. The delphinidin gene was cloned from the petunia and inserted into a mauve-blend rose, the Old Garden Rose 'Cardinal de Richelieu' (a Rosa gallica). However, since the pigment cyanidin was still present, the rose was more dark burgundy than true blue. Further work on the rose using RNAi technology to depress the production of cyanidin produced a very dark mauve plant, with only trace amounts of cyanidin.

Blue roses traditionally signify mystery or attaining the impossible. They are believed to be able to grant the owner youth or grant wishes. This symbolism derives from the rose's meaning in the language of flowers common in Victorian times.


In Slavic mythology one may be granted wishes by bringing a blue rose to Baba Yaga. The Blue Rose was also a symbolist, impressionist influenced art movement in Tsarist Russia in the early 20th Century.

Also, according to a Chinese folktale, the blue rose signified hope against unattainable love. There are various versions of this story that can be found online. One example:

According to the Yui-Tua peoples of some pacific island groups the appearance of a blue rose signals the end of times.[citation needed]


In the play The Glass Menagerie, one of the characters is nicknamed "Blue Roses."

In the book series A Song of Ice and Fire, blue roses are used to symbolise the character Lyanna Stark.

Peter Straub has written the Blue Rose Trilogy, consisting of Koko, Mystery, and The Throat. Blue roses are also a key part of one of the events described in his short story "Bunny Is Good Bread", which depicts the childhood of Fielding "Fee" Bandolier, one of the characters who appears in the Blue Rose Trilogy.

In the anime series Blood+, blue roses are seen during the Vietnam arc as the symbol of the "Phantom" (the Chevalier Carl). They are also seen in Diva's Tower at the Zoo in Bordeux, France.

Use in graphic design

The blue rose appears to have held a particular fascination for the designers of printed textiles; at certain times, for example the 1970s, the blue rose far outstripped roses of a more natural colour as a popular design motif.

Since 1970 the blue rose has featured predominantly on bed linen, lingerie, printed flannelette, printed tablecloths, headscarves, handkerchiefs, gros point tapestry designs, packaging and printed toilet paper.

Blue roses also adorn many printed ceramics and have done so since under-glaze blue printing became a common mode of decoration in the 1700s. In the late 1960s Wedgwood produced a range of bone china decorated with blue roses, the so-called "Ice Rose" design.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blue_rose". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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