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Blue Chrysanthemums Are Here
Researchers Develop New Blue Flower


Chrysanthemums are naturally yellow in color and are a longtime favorite amongst gardeners due to their ability to survive harsh conditions, such as low temperatures.

Scientists at the University of Tohoku in Sendai, Japan have genetically modified chrysanthemums to have a truly blue color. So accurately blue in fact that the Royal Horticultural Society, the chief authority on these matters, agreed that this flower is absolutely blue, rather than violet or purple.

Reportedly, this development took 16 years of research and resulted only from a tremendous amount of luck, as researchers tried dozens of different pollination combinations. In the end, an introduced gene from the Canterbury bellflower, coupled with a gene from the butterfly pea, ended up in the chrysanthemums being irrefutably blue.

This is great news for gardeners and plant lovers alike because, surprisingly, the color blue does not occur in natural plants as often as one might think. Believe it or not, fewer than 10 percent of all flowering plants have truly blue blossoms.

However, before the flower can be available to the public, the research team, led by Naonobu Noda, will have to develop a way for this genetically modified flower to not cross pollinate, and, unfortunately, this may take some time.

Although in perhaps just a few years, this blue flower could have a huge success amongst landscape professionals and private landscapers around the world who are seeking to add more color diversity to their gardens.

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September 20, 2019, 10:46 pm PDT

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