What is the Rarest Rose?
Roses are common flowers that are famous for their beauty and scent. Some varieties are more common than others, and some varieties are quite rare. The rarest rose of all is the blue rose, which is the subject of poems, art and song but is not easy to find. In 2004, scientists created a blue rose using genetic modification.
In the wild, roses are white, pink, red or a blend of those colors. Blue roses do not exist because the blue gene -- delphinidin -- is not present. Roses have been modified through breeding, and recently through genetic modification, to create a wide range of colors.
Historically, a blue rose is a symbol of something elusive or rare. Rudyard Kipling used the blue rose symbolism in his poetry. Other artists have used it in paintings, fiction and movies. The blue rose is called the Holy Grail of roses.
The First Blue Roses
The first blue roses were not real roses. They were white roses painted with floral paint or set in a dye that was absorbed through the stems.
Real Blue Roses
Scientists at Suntory, a Japanese company, created the first real blue roses using genetic modification. They actually are a lilac shade, but they are called blue because they have the blue gene. The blue rose went on sale in Japan in 2009.
The Veilchenblau is a rose plant sometimes called the blue rose, but its color is actually a range of lilac shades and it does not have the blue pigment.
Care Of Pristine Roses
Pristine roses thrive in moist soil. Give your roses about 1 inch of water per week. Water Pristine rose bushes at the bottom to ensure the majority of the water reaches the roots. Add more compost or manure to keep the layer between 1 and 2 inches thick. Prune your rose bush to encourage new growth. Cut off damaged or dead stalks in early spring when new growth is just beginning. This encourages new roses to bloom, which can extend the growing season. Fertilize Pristine roses regularly throughout the summer to also help encourage growth. Use a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for roses. Remove caterpillars from your pristine rose bush because they can damage the plant quickly. Watch for spider mites, which can also damage rose bushes.
- Starting a Rose Garden: The Hunt for Rare Rose
- "Inventor's Spot;" True Blue Rose to Be Sold First In Japan; Steve Levenstein
- "BBC News;" My Love is Like a Blue, Blue Rose; Kathryn Westcott; Oct. 2009
- Phillip Oliver: Veilchenblau
- ECB: A History of the Rose
- Practical Rose Garden: List of All Rose Species
- Taylor's Guide to Roses: How to Select, Grow and Enjoy More Than 380 Roses; Nancy J. Ondra
- Backyard Gardener: Rosa (Pristine Rose)
- NCNH District of the American Rose Society: Rose Culture in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area
- University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes