Are There Really Black Roses?

Throughout the course of time, black roses have conjured up a variety of symbolic meanings. From unnatural worlds to death, vengeance, farewell or rebirth, the black rose has come to be viewed in a number of different ways depending on the occasion.

Though symbolic meanings may differ, the interesting truth is that black roses do not even exist. What many believe to be black roses are actually dark-red colored roses, which have such a deep color that they appear to be black. Perhaps someday not too far in the future a black rose will exist as many in the field are working with the myriad of rose varieties and colors to come up with the coveted black formula.

In the meantime, there are quite a few roses come which come close. Here are a couple of the more well-known varieties of "black roses" gardened in different climates all over the world:

Black Magic
One of the darkest roses, this rose has black buds before it blooms into velvety garnet flowers.

Black Baccara
Perhaps the darkest, this blackberry colored rose also tends to be blacker before its blooms begin to open into velvety textured petals, growing up to four feet tall with flowers June through August.

Black Beauty
This small flower begins as a burgundy bud and opens into an almost black velvet bloom.

The "black roses" should be grown in sunlight, but be attentive to potential sunburn problems. If you plan to make bouquets from your garden and are looking for something a bit darker, try adding a touch of black dye to the water in your vase.

Ken Austin
Roses and Rose Gardening
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