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I had recently read an article that the possibility of having natural blue rose is extremely rare because of the absence of delphinidin in most roses. Are all blue roses just a product of cross-breeding?

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  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia article on blue roses has a pretty comprehensive explanation. $\endgroup$ Aug 27, 2013 at 2:17

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There are no roses (that is, flowers of genus Rosa species) that naturally express a "true" blue color. Through cross-breeding, there are lilac-mauve rose horticultural varieties ("Blue Nile","Blue Moon","Lady X", etc.), and through genetic engineering (actually inserting delphinidin-producing genes) there are mauve-lavender varieties ("Applause"). The insertion of delphinidin-producing genes did not yield blue colour roses as hoped is due to the acidity of the rose petals, which itself changed the delphinidin blue to mauve-lavender instead. The next breakthrough will be to switch off the acidity of the rose petals to create a true blue rose.

More info

Wikipedia article Blue Rose gives good coverage.

Here's a nice scientific bibliography of rose pigments with some good information on blues.

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