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Hybridizers: It can be fun to breed your own zinnias - Part 4, 1 by Zen_Man

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In reply to: It can be fun to breed your own zinnias - Part 4

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Zen_Man wrote:

There probably is some defined list of color names for specific colors. From the standpoint of computer graphics, 8-bit RGB produces 512 different colors (8x8x8). I would be a little surprised if someone hasn't tried to name all of those 512. The HTML standard has defined names for 140 of them.

I strongly suspect that zinnias can have at least 140 different colors, although obviously not some that are in that table. I think we will have to rely on genetic engineering to get a good range of blues in zinnias. Once there are blues, I think that by superposition of several colors, including a dark blue, that a zinnia color very close to black would be possible. That "Black Ruby" zinnia that I mentioned before seemed to be a superposition of dark purple and yellow. And that dark purple may have been a superposition of purple and cerise. On zinnia petals, colors "mix" by subtraction, pretty much.

Here is another attempt to associate names with RGB color values:

Here are some "tongue in cheek" color names:

I doubt that there is any practical scheme for "naming" colors so that the name conjures up an accurate mental representation of the color. For example, I would have to see a table of colors before I would know with any precision what color is specified by the name "PapayaWhip". The same applies to most of those paint chip names. Incidentally, I have seen a Burpee Hybrid zinnia specimen with essentially that "papaya whip" color.

But for me, color is just one aspect of a zinnia flower. I am also interested in the coloration of the flower, how the color or colors are distributed, and the shape of the flower, including the shape of the individual petals or florets. I like the flower in this attached picture for several reasons, including the longish rather thin and narrow petals and their "toothy" tips. I like the blended color transition from the ivory at the tips of the petals to the pink of their base, and even the pink at the very edges of the tips.

I appreciate anything that distinguishes a flower from the ordinary. One thing that I want is a near-black spider flowered zinnia with sparkling white tips on the petals. In dim light, you would see just those white tips. It will probably take me another year or two to get that one. But I've got some spider-flowered seeds and some seeds of zinnias with white petal tips. However, I don't have any near-black zinnias yet. That may take a bit of doing.


This message was edited Oct 27, 2010 9:25 PM

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