Color perception

James Waddick
Fri, 23 Jan 2004 13:57:39 PST
Dear All;
	Color perception is altered by many factors. I won't go into 
all such as angle of the sun, time of day, what's blooming next to it 
or other; just a few words.

	True colors: People often write about 'black flowers' violas, 
iris, etc. but all you have to do is get a small piece of black 
construction paper and place it side by side with most black flowers 
and their 'blackness' fades to dark red, purple, blue or other very 
distinct shades. The same is true for red and blue especially.

	The Royal Horticultural Society publishes a (very expensive) 
Color ( I mean Colour) Chart with the Dutch Bulb Growers. These are 
standards used in many serious color descriptions such as violet blue 
89-B, blue 102-A. Each color sample is about 2 1/2 x 1 1/2 half 
inches and has a circular hole about 1/2 inch across. The color 
comparison is made by placing the color sample so it can viewed 
through the hole in the chart - there are no interfering colors to 
distract or 'alter' the color being checked.
	It is fairly amazing to confirm a specific color using the 
charts and then view that same color independent of the sample. They 
can very different from each other.

	In the garden we rarely get a pure color in a large area, but 
a mix and blend of similar shades or contrasting colors. All this 
makes it very hard to tell an orange flower in one part of the garden 
to a deep yellow one elsewhere. The best approach is to take two 
samples and hold them side by side against a neutral back ground 
(green foliage is especially bad for this).

	So one person's yellow is another's gold or even orange. And 
it is surprising how few 'true' colors there are in the garden.

		Best		Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
E-fax  419-781-8594

Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

More information about the pbs mailing list