Clay Higgins, New Jersey


February 4, 2008

Categories: General, Non-Daffodil

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Can this be done with daffodils?

TOKYO (AFP) – Think that red roses are predictable? In Japan, gift-givers soon will also have the

option of blue roses.

The Japanese company that created the world’s first genetically modified blue roses said Monday it will start selling them next year.

Suntory Ltd., also a major whisky distiller, hopes to sell several hundred thousand blue roses a year, company spokesman Kazumasa Nishizaki said.

“As its price may be a bit high, we are targeting demand for luxurious cut flowers, such as for gifts,” he said. The exact price and commercial name for the blue rose have not been decided.

The company is also growing the rose experimentally in Australia and the United States to get approval for sales, but no timing has been set for commercial launches in the two countries.

Suntory in 2004 unveiled the world’s first genetically modified blue rose after 14 years of study which also involved Australian researchers.

It created the flowers by implanting the gene that leads to the synthesis of the blue pigment Delphinidin in pansies. The pigment does not exist naturally in roses.


12 responses to “Blue”

  1. Donna Dietsch says:
    I remember reading about this a couple of years ago.  I do remember that the  blue was from another flower, which I remembered as a petunia and not pansies but that it originated in Australia.  I didn’t know it was a Japanese company who backed it.  That rose is spectacular! 
    I remember that you could buy the process information to splice the gene from the people in Australia, at a pretty penny, I would imagine!  But it should be possible to introduce the gene into most flowers, if one were to have the money to do that.  Then how much would you sell those bulbs for?  Too much for most of us.  You would have to just breed the resulting blooms until you got stability in the color and you had enought bulbs ,( or cultivars) to supply them at a cost that would ensure that they would be purchased.  Long and expensive, and little return for the dollar, it seems to me.  However, anything is possible.  Sensible is another thing entirely.
  2. Clay Higgins says:
    If I could corner the market on the Blue Daffodil, I’d retire, charge as much as I wanted.  You wouldn’t need many to make a living at say $2K a bulb.
  3. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:

    You can do anything if you’ve got the resources of Suntory! Alas, I fear Daffodils hardly rate as a commercial crop compared to wheat, rice and other grain crops which have been ‘engineered’ – I’m just surprised that roses might be considered commercial enough for such vast expense. But maybe it’s primarily a PR or tax saving exercise? Maybe that’s too cynical?
    Brian Duncan

  4. Kathy Welsh says:

    Am I the only one that thinks the rose looks purple and not blue?


  5. Clay Higgins says:

    Cynical? No.  Just wise.
    But the same blue color in a daffodil is to die for.

  6. Clay Higgins says:

    Photography! and then transmitting it on the internet. What a way to mess up color. We all know that from photographing daffodils. 🙂


  7. Marilyn Howe says:

    Hi Kathy,

    I agree with you, The Rose looks more on the purple side than blue.


  8. Bill Lee says:

    In a message dated 2/5/2008 7:36:41 AM Eastern Standard Time,  title= writes:

    Am I the only one that thinks the rose looks purple and not blue?

    That’s how it looks on my monitor too, Kathy. But it is a bluish purple rather than a reddish purple.
    Bill Lee

  9. Denis Dailey says:

    Ah! The color (colour) issue again. Wouldn't it be best just to have flowers labeled with a number, or a range of numbers from an accepted palate such as the RHS has available? PS It looked Lavender to me. Denis Dailey

  10. Clay Higgins says:

    The color issue!!! There are dozens of different colors in daffodil that we call Orange, Red, Pink, etc. If I could find a violet or purple colored daffodil, I’d take it!!! 🙂


  11. Barbara and Len Weber says:

    Pardon me, and maybe our monitors are showing a different color, but this artist says the color is lavender, not blue. And violet would be even more reddish.
    Barbara In Oregon

  12. Phyllis Hess says:

    Recently I made an afghan for my granddaughter; no matter how I took a photo the purple photographed navy blue! So perhaps this is the case; the blue just won’t photograph properly! Phyllis Hess