Gardening Articles

The Law Of Color In Flowers

The public are so often duped by a set of travelling frauds, who make it their business to represent themselves as being the sole proprietor or agent of some "wonderful" kinds of plants, bulbs, or seeds, which possess the virtue of being remarkably

distinct from anything ever seen or heard of before, that many over-credulous ladies or gentlemen fall victims to the unprincipled sharks. Did you ever see any one who could sell rose bushes that would certainly bear blue roses, or plants of the Verbena that produce yellow blossoms, or Tuberose bulbs bearing scarlet flowers? If you have not, you have something to learn, and many have paid dearly for experiences of this kind. There is a natural law of color in flowers, that the varieties of a species invariably present a certain range of colors. To attempt to introduce a new and distinct color, as for example a blue rose, into a family where the colors are always white, red, and yellow, is an impossibility, and any one who claims to do this, may be set down as a swindler. Much credit is due Mr. Peter Henderson, an eminent florist and seedsman of New York City, for the vigorous methods employed by him in exposing frauds of this kind, whenever his attention has been called to them. We quote from an article written by Mr. Henderson on this subject, some years ago: "It has long been known among the best observers of such matters, that in certain families of plants, particular colors prevail, and that in no single instance can we ever expect to see blue, yellow, and scarlet colors in varieties of the same species. If any one at all conversant with plants, will bring any family of them to mind, it will at once be seen how undeviating is this law. In the Dahlia we have scarlet and yellow, but no approach to the blue, so in the Rose, Hollyhock, etc. Again in the Verbena and Salvia, we have scarlet and blue, but no yellow. If we reflect, it will be seen that there is nothing out of the order of nature in this arrangement; why then should we expect nature to step outside of what seems to be her fixed laws, and give us a blue rose, etc." A word to the wise, we take it, is sufficient in view of the foregoing facts.

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