In 1840, the horticultural societies of Britain and Belgium offered a prize of 500,000 francs to the first person to produce a blue rose. Molecular geneticists with Florigene Ltd., a Melbourne Australia-based subsidiary of Japanese drinks manufacturer Suntory Ltd., finally cracked the code for creating blue roses in 2004. Since then, the process has been continually refined until petals containing nearly 100 per cent blue pigment were produced. The Suntory blue rose, Applause, became available for sale on Nov. 3, 2009, in parts of Japan. In Japanese, Applause rhymes with rose.
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For bulk orders, contact an agency that is licensed to buy the Applause rose in Japan.
For retail purchase, contact a florist in the Greater Tokyo, Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe area or the Aichi Prefecture in Japan, where the Applause rose is being sold.
Pay £15 to £22 per rose through an agency or more through a retail outlet.
Tips and warnings
- As of August 2010, a true blue rose is not as yet available outside of the select sales area defined by Suntory Ltd. in Japan. For a more reasonable price, you can buy dyed blue roses at your local florist or place white roses in a vase containing blue dye and let the roses absorb the blue pigment through their stems.
- The Applause blue rose may not be legally imported to the United States. No provision has been made for sale outside of Japan. If an import-export company claims it can acquire blue roses, the flowers have been artificially dyed or illegally smuggled. Avoid paying exorbitant prices for either type.
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