Roses are Red......Color terms

James Waddick
Sun, 19 Sep 2004 06:20:54 PDT
Dear Jane et al;
	Isn't it odd that color terms related/derived from plants 
seem so totally at odds. Examples

	Roses are red -  you get this response from many people, but 
isn't the color 'rose' another distinctly different shade?
	and Violets are neither blue or rarely violet, but more often 
purple, yellow, etc.
	Ebony (the wood/tree) is far from black.
	I'm sure there are more plant related colors: lilacs, pinks, 
orchid, primrose, cerise (from the french for 'cherry'), etc.

	Speaking of black, 'Black' flowers are almost always far from 
black, but usually a deep red or purple. In fact pure colors 
especially red and blue ("red' iris, 'Blue' roses?) are fairly 
uncommon in nature. This is easily shown by taking a small square of 
construction paper of a pure red or blue color and lining it up with 
a flower said to be red or blue. (also true of black and white).  And 
this seems to hold up more when you have pale 'colors'. Pale yellow 
may be tan, cream or even pink etc.

	Color is very personal and often has a meaning unrelated to 
the evidence. This difference between perception and reality is one 
of the reasons the RHS chart works so well and does not use names for 
its colors, just numbers.
This avoids the associations that color names carry with them. By 
comparing flower colors through a small aperture, the RHS color 
charts eliminates surrounding/competing colors, isolates the color 
you are seeking and somewhat evens the perception of the actual color 

	Jane, it makes editing an even harder job. 	best Jim W

Dr. James W. Waddick
Near KCI Airport
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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