All Things Gardening forum: Widest flower color ranges within a species

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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 11:12 AM CST
I'm pondering something. Which species of flowers have the widest color ranges available within a single species?

For example, a true blue, true red, and true yellow possibly in addition to white and/or black?

I can think of a couple but I want to know if there anyone else can think of others. It's just something I'm thinking about.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 23, 2017 5:34 PM CST
Pansies come to mind - blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, white. No green that I'm aware of (?) and I don't think there are any truly black flowers (? could be wrong), but these come close with the very dark purples.
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Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Jul 23, 2017 6:09 PM CST
Echinacea has no Black or Blue but many shades of red , orange, yellows, golds, pinks, whites,greens,purples,maroon also mixed colors.
My guess would be that Iris have the most different colors.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 7:21 PM CST
Bonehead said:Pansies come to mind - blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, white. No green that I'm aware of (?) and I don't think there are any truly black flowers (? could be wrong), but these come close with the very dark purples.


Pansies were the ones I thought of, too.They have blue, red, yellow, white, and near-black. The only color I've never seen is green.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 23, 2017 8:29 PM CST
Iris is another good one, Bob. They're like pansies - red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, white, black(ish). Even some unattractive (to me) grayish ones. No real green that I could find - although some of the yellow ones are greenish or have some green accents.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 9:19 PM CST
Zinnias have a true green (and red, yellow, and white) but no true blue.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 9:21 PM CST
NJBob said:Echinacea has no Black or Blue but many shades of red , orange, yellows, golds, pinks, whites,greens,purples,maroon also mixed colors.


In terms of color theory echinacea are limited in color because the red/pink/purple/orange/maroon you mention are all considered reds.
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 23, 2017 11:02 PM CST
It seems blue and green are the difficult colors.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 11:07 PM CST
Yeah. The bluest flower I've ever grown is Lathyrus sativus var azureus. It is purer blue than morning glories or bachelor's buttons.

Green flowers should really be more common considering that evolutionarily all flowers are just modified leaves.
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jmorth
Jul 23, 2017 11:11 PM CST
Tulips
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 23, 2017 11:14 PM CST
Tulips are limited in the same way as Echinacea. They have a myriad of beautiful colors but the vast majority of them are on the red end of the spectrum. Green is represented, but blue is not at all.
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Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 24, 2017 2:28 AM CST
Bonehead said:Iris is another good one, Bob. They're like pansies - red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, white, black(ish). Even some unattractive (to me) grayish ones. No real green that I could find - although some of the yellow ones are greenish or have some green accents.


What are the variety names of the gray flowers? I'm interested to see but when I Google "gray iris" I get pictures of eyeballs...
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Name: Mike
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Calsurf73
Jul 24, 2017 5:54 AM CST
From what I remember of my horticulture classes in college, we were taught that there isn't any plant genus that has the "full color spectrum" of blooms.
One color is always absent.
It seems to me that daylilies would come closest, given that there are something like 80,000 cultivars (+-) and that they are easily cross-bred.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 24, 2017 6:00 AM CST
Nope, daylilies have the exact same color limits mentioned for echinacea and tulips.

If you have 50,000 red hues of Flower A and only 2 varieties of Flower B, but one of those is red and one is blue, the second example has a wider variation by definition even though it has fewer hues.

I think everyone except Deb misunderstood the question (or uses a different understanding of color theory). lol
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[Last edited by Jai_Ganesha - Jul 24, 2017 6:05 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 24, 2017 6:46 AM CST
Jai, open our iris database and do a search by characteristic simply choosing 'gray' as the primary color. Mostly what comes up are very light purples and blues - not true grays but some are pretty close.

I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 24, 2017 6:54 AM CST
Thank you. Those are...different looking.

Some varieties of Shirley poppies (especially Mother of Pearl) can have blooms which are an even steel grey. Usually though the gray is just an undertone against some shade of red.

They would probably have to make the color differently than iris do because Shirley poppies have nothing on the blue end of the color spectrum (unlike iris).
Keep going!
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Jul 24, 2017 6:57 AM CST
Out of curiosity, I also searched our iris databank for green, but nothing really popped out at me as green; lots of yellows that leaned toward chartreuse, and lots with some green accents. I suppose that could count (?) as green coloration.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
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Jai_Ganesha
Jul 24, 2017 6:58 AM CST
I still haven't mastered the art of looking through the database. I tend to go down the rabbit hole and just keep looking at pretty things over and over.
Keep going!
Name: Janine
NE Connecticut (Zone 6a)
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janinilulu
Jul 24, 2017 7:37 AM CST
The genus Primula has a very wide color range, including green, blue & black, but I don't think there is a particular Primula species (non-hybrid) with an extraordinary color range.
[Last edited by janinilulu - Jul 24, 2017 7:38 AM (+)]
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Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
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Bonehead
Jul 24, 2017 8:53 AM CST
Good call, Janine - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white - all covered with primroses.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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