Last week I tested a fairly new variety "Black Finess", which for all intents and purposes resulted in a two thumbs down for the product. Normally when a product fails, I would not mention it, but rather would recommend that we do not sell it as it is flawed. In this case I would like to use the "Fail" to comment on a couple of issues raised by this rose.
While I do not recommend either "Black Finess" and/or "Black Lava", I would like to underline the fact that, as we go forwards to Valentine's Day, if you receive a rose with brown on the guard petals, do not automatically assume the worst. The easy test to see if it botrytis or bronzing is to gently rub the petal: If it feels dry (and occasionally some brown dust is released on to the fingers like rust) then it is the bronzing; if it feels moist and perhaps mushy it is probably fungus. In either case, remove the guard petals and review the rose further - if the damage persists it may be cause to alert your provider of a problem. Remember the guard petals are there to protect the flower from these very issues, so no judgement should be made until they are removed.