Outline Message with a photograph of very colourful roses claims that the flowers are specially bred to grow in multiple colours.
The photograph is genuine. However, the roses have not been bred to grow in multiple colours as claimed in the message. The multiple colours are the result of a procedure in which pigments are absorbed into the stems of the plants. The colouring technique was developed by Peter Van de Werken, the owner of a Dutch flower company.
These are not dyed or doctored, they have been bred to grow this way!!!!
According to this message, which circulates via social networking websites as well as email, an attached photograph shows a bunch of specially grown multicoloured roses. The message claims that the beautiful roses are not "dyed or doctored" but have been deliberately bred to grow in multiple colours. Many commentators have suggested that the image has been digitally manipulated.
In fact, the photograph is genuine. However, the claim that the roses are specially bred to grow in multiple colours is untrue. The "rainbow" roses are the result of a procedure in which pigments are absorbed into the stems as the flowers grow. A February 2007 article published on Metro.co.uk notes:
The highly colourful flowers have been developed by a Dutch businessman who dyes each bloom in the colours of the rainbow.
The dyes are produced from natural plant extracts and are absorbed by the flowers as they grow.
A special process then controls how much colour reaches each petal – with spectacular results.
The 'Happy Flowers' were designed by Peter Van de Werken, who owns a flower company close to Den Bosch in southern Holland.
The firm sells only multi-coloured roses and chrysanthemums but is also looking to do pot plants.
Mr Van de Werken, 36, said: 'We used to only sell single colour flowers but the market for them took a dip.
'Myself and my colleagues started looking for something a bit different and came up with the idea of having different-coloured flowers.
'First of all we tried spraying the flowers but that did not work. Then we tried the dye. It took us about six months to get it right and we still make mistakes.'
The roses are now distributed and sold around the world. More information about the rainbow roses is available on the Happy Roses website. The site's FAQ notes:
How does a Happy Rose get its special colours?
The Happy Roses are placed in special water. Different substances are dissolved in this water. The rose branch absorbs this water as part of a natural process. This is what changes the colour of the petals. What makes Happy Roses unique is that the inventor has managed to colour a few petals, for example, yellow, whilst at the same time other petals colour differently, for example, blue, orange or lilac. It even proved possible to achieve a range of different colourings in the flower, which as it were fan around one another. This resulted in these unique, colourful and cheerful roses.
More photographs of the roses can be seen in the following YouTube item: