Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I'M JUST MAD ABOUT SAFFRON (...and Saffron's mad about me)

Frequently, we have flowers in the office that are generally part of a vase test, usually to check vase life, or if it is a new variety to observe its characteristics, how it opens and how well it lasts. Most of the time the items on display do not whet one's appetite or even raise an eyebrow, but there are thrilling moments when a flower is observed in a new context or something rather special is exhibited. Today I enjoyed one such rare moment as a fairly new rose called "Gelbe" was on view in various vases around the office. "Gelbe" seems to be a corruption of the German word Gelb, which means yellow, and a more incisive, definitive choice for a name could not have been chosen. Truly an invigorating, Good-Day_Sunshine kind of yellow illuminated the room with its brilliant color. But it was the comportment of the blooms with their rather generous amount of petals  slowly reflexing that was so beguiling. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of "Gelbe" is the deeply scalloped edges of the petals, which is reminiscent of some classic garden roses.
"Gelbe" has that deep yellow you get when preparing crocus anthers in warmed white wine prior to using in, say Bouillabaisse; a yellow that is strong with just a hint of red. Certainly not a 'Mellow Yellow'!
Is there a trend here? Given the rather awful rose names that have surfaced of late could it be that breeders are keeping it very basic. First Gelbe; and next maybe "Amarillo"? or "Jaune"? Simply use the color of the rose, but use the word from another language. "Galben" - that's Romanian.

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