Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum: Dahlia Color Chart Mistakes

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Imageteddahlia
Apr 2, 2012 4:52 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I only said that we should take the human error out of the equation. Each floret that is sampled would be one of several samples that would have to be averaged out. For example there are seven trial gardens and a cultivar may be entered at four of them so the four sampled colors would be averaged out. The flowers are also shown on the ADS bench and again usually multiple times.

A color range is more accurate but the goal is to select one color chip not 4 or 5.

We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
[Last edited Apr 3, 2012 12:53 PM CST]
Quote | Post #850415 (1)
ImageMaryNZ
Apr 2, 2012 8:10 PM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

Personally, I would be fine with 4 or 5 chips, because I would be better informed.
My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at http://www.facebook.com/groups/363854624030/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/dahlias/
Imageteddahlia
Apr 4, 2012 1:10 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I suppose you are concerned about fading of dahlia colors. One of the anthocyanins that creates red in dahlias is very susceptible to fading. If a dahlia has that pigment, the color of the flower will vary according to how much sunlight gets on the flower after it opens. On cloudy days, the flowers will be very intensely colored with the red colors( and usually the reds have a touch of blue in them). Most people call these colors dark pinks. On sunny days the flowers fade almost immediately to pinks or lighter reds.

If a dahlia has the other anthocyanin, it will be much more stable in sunlight and will fade in a different way. The fade will just take some of the brightness away but it will still be very red. On some flowers, this pigment will only form when the dahlia bud is exposed to sunlight. If you cover the opening bud with aluminum foil, the red pigment will not form. So there are two sun related factors that affect these red flowers, first the bud must be exposed to sunlight to create the anthocynin and then after the pigments form, there may be some fading in the sunlight.

We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imagehonnat
Apr 4, 2012 3:26 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
Weather conditions influence the color of dahlias beyond just fading. When the weather is hot, many dahlias will have a much stronger; brighter color. Then, when the weather cools - so do the colors. Perhaps this is also because it is getting less sun-light. So, a dahlia grown in a cooler, and often cloudy climate will show up a bit different than one grown in a hot, sunny climate.

I agree with Mary. It is nice to be fully informed about some of these attributes when purchasing.
Imageteddahlia
Apr 9, 2012 2:46 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Fading is an interesting issue. The dahlia judging guidelines take off points for seedlings if they fade. Yet people want the colors in dahlias that do fade because those colors are more vibrant and pretty than those that do not fade. There is a long list of dahlias that people love that fade with even small amounts of full sun. An example is Kenora Wow. On shady days it is one of the most spectacular flowers I have ever seen. In full sunlight it fades to colors that are so displeasing that I wonder why I grew it.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
Apr 23, 2012 10:44 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Thanks Ted for these explanations. I am loving learning about colors from you! I think it means i have crossed from enjoying Dahlias to being totally obsessed with the whole thing!
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
Feb 5, 2013 1:02 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I have always questioned the naming of colors of dahlias and have found an interesting computer program that you access from the internet. It gives you the name of a color and where it is in the main color groups. http://www.colblindor.com/color-name-hue/
It accepts RGB numbers, meaning that you just sample a picture of dahlia in Photoshop and record the RGB numbers of the color. You then put those numbers into the program and it tells you a name for the color and the main color group and gives you a small color swatch too.

I ran the first 14 colors of the Bronze color chart to see how it would work. Here are the results:
Bronze RGB Name of Color Hue
1 238 160 121 Dark Salmon Orange
2 226 128 65 Tree Poppy Orange
3 252 175 21 Dark Tangerine Orange
4 248 155 51 Lightning Yellow Yellow
5 182 86 25 Golden Brown Brown
6 211 146 4 Tangerine Orange
7 211 181 109 Tacha Yellow
8 229 200 142 New Orleans Yellow
9 219 93 68 Flamingo Orange
10 234 136 111 Dark Salmon Orange
11 211 145 111 Feldspar Red
12 211 122 106 Burning Sand Orange
13 225 102 87 Flamingo Orange
14 216 73 57 Chilean Fire Orange

Of course, none of the colors came up "bronze" as it is a contrived color that dahlia people came up with many years ago. If anybody wants to post a dahlia picture to find out what this program calls the color, post it and I will run the colors in Photoshop and give you the results when I get some time.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageMaryNZ
Feb 5, 2013 1:24 PM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

Try some of the pinks that I would call apricot!
My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at http://www.facebook.com/groups/363854624030/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/dahlias/
Imageteddahlia
Feb 5, 2013 2:44 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Thumb of 2013-02-05/teddahlia/f5f39b
I do not know what color your apricot is but here is picture of a flower called Apricot Brandy.
Thumb of 2013-02-05/teddahlia/786076
Here is one of many colors that are on the flower.
It is called bittersweet and is an orange color.
I sampled in another area and it was tomato, a red color.
And in yet another area it was crusta, an orange color.
I bet most dahlia people would call it dark pink. I checked the dark pink chips and chose chip 10. And when I put the RGB numbers into the program it was bittersweet!
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imagehonnat
Feb 5, 2013 4:13 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
Try this one - AC Darkhorse (purple, magenta...???)

Thumb of 2013-02-05/honnat/a3c9b0
ImageMaryNZ
Feb 5, 2013 6:00 PM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

Apricot Brandy is indeed apricot, and one of the colours in which I definitely would like more Dahlias. I want them pinker than Embrace, which often tends toward yellow.
My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at http://www.facebook.com/groups/363854624030/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/dahlias/
Imageteddahlia
Feb 5, 2013 7:09 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Thumb of 2013-02-06/teddahlia/8990ee
AC Dark Horse
It says the color is
"Cardinal" and it is a red.
I sampled another area and got "Old Rose" a red.
Another area where is more blue came out as "Ruby" a red.
The last area was to the left near the bottom where it was even more blue and it was "Dark Purple". Here is swatch:
Thumb of 2013-02-06/teddahlia/4b8bb6
Even though it is classified as a purple in the book, it has an awful lot of red in it.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageMaryNZ
Feb 5, 2013 8:00 PM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

Most purple flowers seem to look redder in photographs. Did that happen with AC Darkhorse?
My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at http://www.facebook.com/groups/363854624030/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/dahlias/
Imagehonnat
Feb 5, 2013 10:28 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
Good point Mary. I don't remember AC Darkhorse being really purple in person; but it was probably a bit more purple than the photo. It certainly wasn't "Cardinal Red" as one of Ted's samples suggested. The color on AC Darkhorse seems to be a common one with dahlias. It is probably an attempt to get a nice purple by the hybridizer; but just not getting the right pigments to show up.

Anyway, from the purple / magenta / red debate - to the Pink / Lavendar / purple debate.

I sampled a Clearview Erin photo a few times. The most common color I came up with was "Deep Cerise"
Thumb of 2013-02-06/honnat/a02cdf
Thumb of 2013-02-06/honnat/51d563
Imageteddahlia
Feb 6, 2013 10:48 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
You did not state that deep cerise is a violet color. By the way, purple is such a hard color to breed that any shade of purple is a good outcome. Remember that Gordon Leroux of Kenora dahlias went to his grave unable to breed the giant or large purple he wanted to name after his wife. He told me this in the only conversation I had with him.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDahliaGardener
Feb 6, 2013 7:05 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
I am going to ask the question, because I still haven't figured this out:

What is WHITE anyway? Is there even a TRUE white? Some of the dahlias I see look white, but they're described as yellow. Some look yellower to me, and they are labelled white. Some have a greenish cast, and on and on and on.

I really think that colors are subjective, and I have truly wondered if we don't each see them in a *totally* different way in reality (because there are people out there that think that fuchsia and bright orange look great together when worn and others that shudder at that notion), but you'd think that white would translate accross that visual divide...

Any thoughts?
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Imageteddahlia
Feb 6, 2013 7:45 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
White can be defined scientifically as a color that reflects equal amounts of the other colors.
I used to hate white dahlias. After I watched my wife use white flowers in her bouquets and arrangements, I changed my mind. The white flowers enhance the other colors and make them pop. White also expresses the shape of the flower without the distraction of color.

In dahlias, white is a definite pigment. If there is no white pigment, the flowers are almost transparent. The pigment is a flavone. Some white dahlias have just a smattering of red pigment on them and cannot be called true whites. One of the reasons that dahlias have all the different colors is that the color pigments vary a lot. Flavones vary in color from white to yellow. Flavones are chemically related to the other dahlia pigments, the anthocyanins. Both flavones and anthocyanins are made from the same chemical precursors.

Is there a true white dahlia? Some come very close. Ryecroft Jan is very, very white.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDahliaGardener
Feb 6, 2013 11:30 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Thanks, I didn't have any idea about the pigment. So, then, can the white pigment vary from year to year, or more frequently, even, depending on sun/hydration/temperature like some of the other colors? Or is it pretty static to the tuber (since I have seen wide variations between plants of the same variety).

And is it the petalloids that make Ryecroft Jan look green toward the center in the Dahlia Gold list?

I really, really, like the white ones, too, but put them in a vase together and they all look a bit not-white. Of course, that's only in my experience with the few white ones I have (let's just not even talk about the year that Fuzzy Wuzzy was solid white with NO pink because it's NOT supposed to be a white at all...).

C DG
All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

ImageMaryNZ
Feb 7, 2013 1:46 AM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

DahliaGardener wrote:I really think that colors are subjective, and I have truly wondered if we don't each see them in a *totally* different way in reality ...


I have suspected this for a long time, and there seems to be some evidence for it. I forget where I read that evidence, of course!

My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at http://www.facebook.com/groups/363854624030/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/dahlias/
Imageteddahlia
Feb 7, 2013 10:39 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!

And is it the petalloids that make Ryecroft Jan look green toward the center in the Dahlia Gold list?
When you photograph a flower in the garden and it is surrounded by green foliage, the reflections of the green foliage in the darker parts of the flower will appear to be green. Take the same flower to the full sunlight away from the green foliage and the center will be white and in the shadows gray(without any color mixed with it).

Photographs are taken using the light that is available. If you want to see strangely colored flowers, take different colored umbrellas to the garden and look at the flowers under the umbrellas.

p.s. the word petalloid is incorrect. Dahlias have ray florets than can also be called petals. Petalloids are a specific kind of petal that forms at the base of the normal petals. They are generally shorter and in many case mis-shapened. Collarettes have petalloids as their second row of florets. Some novelty flowers have them and this fact puts them into the novelty class. Most judges despise petalloids and consider them a major defect in flowers that are not suppose to have them.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.

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