Flower designers have come up with something special for springtime celebrations. By using different coloured dyes and basic plant biology, they’ve created the boldly beautiful, multi-coloured rainbow rose. It’s the perfect flower for that colourful spring wedding.
How Does A Rose Absorb Water?
Rainbow roses are possible because of the way that flowers absorb water. Before a rose is cut, water is pulled into the stem from the roots. After cutting, the vase is the water source. In either case, the water travels up the stem through special cells called xylem. These cells have stiff walls which hold in the liquid. Sunlight evaporates the water from the top of the stem, emptying the xylem and creating a vacuum. That process, called transpiration, pulls in more water from the base of the stem to replace it. It works somewhat like a straw.
How Are Rainbow Roses Created?
The designer takes cut long-stem roses and split the bottom of the stems into three or four sections. Each section is placed in containers with different coloured water, usually dyed with food colouring. The coloured water travels up the stem through the xylem and into the rose flower. As it gets into the cells of the rose petals, the flower changes colour. The longer you leave the rose in the coloured water, the darker the petals. Each rose will end up with three or four colours, but the patterns will be different. This is a variation of the technique used to create roses in exotic colours, like blue and even black.
Why Use Dyes For Rainbow Roses?
Rose breeders are constantly trying to come up with new colours. Normally this is done by controlled cross-pollination. Rather than leave it up to the bees, the breeder will take pollen from one rose variety and pollinate another. Scientists have created variegated roses, those with petals in two colours. But, so far, blue roses aren’t possible because there is no genetic code for blue. So-called black roses are really a dark burgundy, for the same reason. Genetic breeding has yet to produce a rose with yellow, green, blue or purple petals all on the same flower, also because there is no genetic code. For this sort of colour pattern, rainbow roses must be created using dyes.
Before humans started genetically manipulating roses, they came in mostly red, pink, white and yellow. Thanks to centuries of scientific experimentation, there is now an almost endless array of rose varieties and colours. The rainbow rose just takes thing a bit further. To include rainbow roses in your wedding bouquet or as centerpieces at the reception, talk to a florist, such as Amaranthine Flowers By Design.