Viewing post #822952 by teddahlia

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You are viewing a single post made by teddahlia in the thread called Dahlia Color Chart Mistakes.
Jan 31, 2012 12:47 PM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Many years ago, the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK published a set of color swatches(884 swatches) so that colors of flowers and plant materials could be described by the closest color swatch. The set of swatches was very expensive(and it is still being sold today for only 176 pounds plus shipping). The American Dahlia Society used to use these color swatches to describe colors of dahlias. This system was much more complex than just saying something like "Art's Glory BB FD RHS Chip 133" because people who shop for dahlias do not have an RHS chart. So, the American Dahlia Society needed to group together the chips that were the common colors of dahlias. So far this story is very logical and straightforward.

What happened next is the problem. Certain dahlia colors are obvious and have "easy" names: White, yellow, pink, red orange, and purple are the colors that just about everybody who is not color blind knows well. For some reason, the people at the ADS felt that these common colors were not descriptive enough for the colors of dahlias and added some what I call "contrived" colors to the list: dark pink, dark red, lavender, and bronze. Certainly dark pink and dark red are reasonable colors but lavender and bronze are very "contrived " colors that do not translate well to the average person on the street.

A few years ago, it was apparent that the 884 RHS color(colour to them) chart was too expensive and too cumbersome to use. A team of very experienced people was formed to create a "dahlia specific" color chart that would just include the chips that are common to dahlia colors. The met several times and selected the appropriate chips and had them printed. (The printing of these color chips was so difficult that the printer lost money and said they would not do it again!).

What that team did not do was to review the color names for the groups of chips. They just brought over the antiquated, inadequate(and even inaccurate) color names that had been selected many years ago.

And that brings us to the proposed subject of this thread. What do you have to say about the color naming system that is currently used by the American Dahlia Society? Do you have problems knowing what color a dahlia flower will really be because the of the inadequate color naming process? Do you have some proposals to improve it?
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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