Viewing post #832171 by MaryNZ

After 13 years online, is scheduled to be shut down. Please make sure you have the contact information for all your friends, and that you download whatever content you want from this site.

You are viewing a single post made by MaryNZ in the thread called Dahlia Color Chart Mistakes.
Feb 20, 2012 12:19 PM CST
Name: Mary St George
New Zealand

However, you started from a contention that lavender and bronze are errors of judgement, because they are not being used to describe the colours that most people would use them for. The Wikipedia page you quoted is also basing its assessment on common usage by native speakers, but they should have specified that the native speakers of English were in the US.

Around here, if someone describes lilac as purple, the assumption is that they are not a native speaker of English, every bit as much as if they were to describe pink as red. Speaking of pink, the study cited in Wikipedia is incorrect. Not every language develops a term for pink before it develops a term for orange. In Māori, pink is "ma whero" (pale red), whereas orange is "karaka" or "parakaraka" depending on dialect - a distinct word, which, like our orange, is drawn from the name of a fruit.

There isn't really a science of colour naming, language is dynamic, and many colour names come from the names of objects. There is a science of colour perception, and increasingly this is telling us that colour perception is individualised but culturally influenced. Many people, including me, see colour differently with each eye. So, unless you go for RGB codes or something equally ghastly, you are going to have some disagreement of where the boundaries fall (e.g. between red and purple), and some dialect differences about which colour names should be distinct.

It interests me that the colours as they stand are almost as I would have them. Lavender has its own name - it is not called pale purple. The point of contention here is that it includes a lot of things most people would call pink. Bronze has its own name. It is not called orange. The point of contention here is that most people would call it apricot, peach, or in the case of the yellower flowers currently called bronze, yellow or amber. So I would keep Lavender, but rename some flowers from lavender to pink, and I would keep the category that is currently bronze, rename it as apricot, and shift some of the yellowest flowers in it to yellow.

Also, if people are buying their Dahlias for a colour co-ordinated garden or for flower arranging, it is more useful to them to have more colour divisions rather than fewer. These people can also be helped by every vendor having more than one photo of each cultivar they sell available online, preferably taken at different times of the season, or at least in different light. This can be done for free on Flickr if they don't have a website.
My photos are licensed CC BY (Attribution). More Dahlia photos here.
I also spend time in FB Dahlia groups at and

« Return to the thread "Dahlia Color Chart Mistakes"
« Return to Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum
« Return to the Growing Dahlias: cubit homepage

Growing Dahlias:

A place to learn about dahlias, and a vibrant community of dahlia growers to ask, share and enjoy.

» Home
» Forums
» Articles
» Store
» Database
» Links

Cubit owner: Poochella

Admin team:

The Discussion Dahlia

'Unrecognized Form' Dahlias
Thumb of 2015-12-15/CCvacation/d189da
Click here to discuss the current dahlia flavor of the season!

Discussion of previous dahlias can be found here.