Evoking specific feelings and moods, we all have our favorite flower colors. In fact, flower color is probably the primary reason people choose one variety over another. Perhaps you prefer the cool blues, purples, and whites, or maybe bright “hot” oranges, yellows, and reds tickle your fancy. How about a garden of white and pink flowers colors or the opposite, flowers in shades of black, brown, deep purple and blue? The combinations are endless really, only limited by your imagination.
How do flowers get their colors? From pigments like anthocyanidin (purples and reds), carotenoids (oranges and yellows), and chlorophyll (green). Some flower colors are “au natural”, perhaps only affected by temperature and plant stress. They’ve evolved with regard to specific pollinators, whether they’re birds, bees, or flies and other insects. Other flower colors have been bred that way by mixing the pigments into different combinations or, like hydrangeas, merely changing the soil conditions alters the flower color. By changing the pH of the cells in rose petals, roses can be manipulated into a rainbow of colors.
There are also factors that cause flowers to change color on the plant itself. For instance, many flowers change color as they age. Vibrant blues may fade to bluish-pinks. This signals to pollinators that the flower is past its prime. And sometimes, flower color is all in the eye of the beholder. How we see colors varies with the type of light. Early morning light is different than midday light, which in turn, is different from the light at dusk.