True Blue Roses to be Sold First in Japan

Roses... timeless symbols of romance that come in a wide variety of colors from rich red through pretty pink to golden yellow and snowy white. But not blue... until now!

Geneticists from Australia's Florigene Ltd., a wholly owned (98.5%) subsidiary of Japanese drinks manufacturer Suntory Ltd., first cracked the code for creating blue roses in 2004. Since then, they have been refining the process to the point where true blue roses can be sold to a public eager to possess the once "impossible dream".

Examples of the roses on display in Tokyo displayed a soft mauve tint that Florigene scientists say is just the starting point for what will be a variety of bluish shades.  

By inserting genes from the common Pansy and Iris into Rose DNA while at the same time switching off a Rose gene that prevented the production of the blue pigment known as "delphinidin", the legendary flower of love will be able to synthesize and express a full range of hues from palest baby blue to deep navy.

Suntory spokesman Kazumasa Nishizaki, responding to questions about the new blue rose, said "As its price may be a bit high, we are targeting demand for luxurious cut flowers."

Patriotic rose bouquets could also be marketed now that red, white & blue roses could be used. Suntory hopes to sell up to several hundred thousand blue roses a year and is working with Florigene to grow the roses in Australia.

Of course, the greatest demand for blue roses would likely be from individuals wanting to express their love in the traditional manner - and since blue roses are said to signify fantasies, they should be quite popular indeed! (via Yahoo! News, Hypography Science Forums and Suntory)     

Steve Levenstein    
Japanese Innovations Writer    

Feb 5, 2008
by Elizabeth Valeri
Elizabeth Valeri's picture

Blue Roses

Maybe it's the photos, but these roses resemble a variety called "Sterling Silver."  Perhaps these are a slightly deeper hue.

Feb 6, 2008
by Anonymous (not verified)

I'm sorry these roses are

I'm sorry these roses are STILL purple. NOT blue.

Feb 6, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Not blue enough for you?

From the article: "Examples of the roses on display in Tokyo displayed a soft mauve tint that Florigene scientists say is just the starting point for what will be a variety of bluish shades." That's probably why the roses won't go on sale until next year, and when they do i would expect they will be much more "blue". It's called "building demand".

Feb 6, 2008
by MadSilence (not verified)

Steve that is so cool!

Steve that is so cool! I have to agree with Anon & Elizabeth. The roses aren't blue: maybe lilac or mauve. Nor does the color look real, I guess because it's unexpected.

But isn't genetic engineering cheating? Horticulturalists have been struggling to create a blue rose for centuries through natural means.

Interesting that Suntory is funding the research.


Mar 12, 2008
by Anonymous


Absolutely gorgeous

Jun 4, 2008
by Anonymous

I own one of these plants.

The roses i grew last season when fully bloomed the flower was actually a true blue. If fed correctly, kept at a ph and watered properly they really are. they can revert to a more lavender if not kept happy though.
It appeared to bloom pinkish lavender at first but i was pleasently surprised at the blue rose that appeared when the blossom bloomed in full.
but what stunned me the most about it, the smell of this sweet plant, it calls noses from afar.

Jun 9, 2008
by Anonymous

almost blue! It needs more effort for the blue!

it's not blue but that purple is so gorgeous and elegant... I luv it...

Jul 28, 2008
by Anonymous

still looking for blue roses

in my life, i was hoping that i will receive blue roses....still waiting....

Jul 31, 2008
by Anonymous

blue roses

Looking forward to view pictures of the blue roses from pale blue to deep blue.
I assume now that the process is reality with the blue from the pansy being incorporated into the rose colouring it will also be viable to get a black pansy and do the same to form the true BLACK rose which has also been the long awaited rose.
Accolades to the creators for their achievement.

Aug 4, 2008
by Anonymous

thats not a blue rose

thats lavender
such as the mystic moon rose
its said to look blue in it fragile state

Aug 4, 2008
by Anonymous


its (saddly) the only way
genetic engineering

Aug 9, 2008
by Anonymous

I have had roses for years

I have had roses for years that look exactly like this called 'Blue Girl'. They are still that purplish tint. Until they develop a TRUE blue rose they shouldn't post this.

Nov 8, 2008
by Anonymous

still purple

Ummm, unless the coloring is off on those pictures, those flowers are purple not blue. Try again.

Nov 24, 2008
by Anonymous

I need to find a True Blue Rose Bush!!!! HELP

Please let me know where I can order one from!! I'm love to get my mother one for Christmas! Thanks

Dec 2, 2008
by Anonymous

blue rose

do you wrelee have blue rose,if so can you send me some seeds?I'm at

Jan 7, 2009
by Anonymous

was it an actual rose?? im

was it an actual rose?? im so interested in this could you tell me more about it?? i would love to be able to grow one! :)

Jan 11, 2009
by Anonymous

Wow. Really? Do you have

Wow. Really? Do you have pictures or anything and how???

Feb 12, 2009
by Anonymous


Blue Roses are so important, but how much would they be to have them transported all over the world???

Feb 15, 2009
by Anonymous

Blue roses

My granddaughters brought me two of the most beautiful blue (and I mean a true blue) roses for Valentines Day! Pale on the outside but a truly deep medium blue on the inside. I would love to know where they came from.