Debate Magazine

Creation: Black Rose

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

black roses1

Unlike the blue rose, which is not natural but is either a white rose dyed blue or a genetically modified rose containing the blue pigment delphinidin, the Turkish Halfeti black rose is a natural, though very rare, flower.

Although they appear black, the Halfeti rose is actually a very deep crimson color. It is seasonal, only growing during the summer and only in the tiny village of Halfeti on the bank of the Euphrates river in Turkey. Thanks to the unique soil conditions of the region, and the pH levels of the groundwater that seeps in from the Euphrates, the roses take on a blackish hue. They bloom dark red during the spring and fade to black during the summer months.

The local Turks consider the flowers to be symbols of mystery, hope and passion, but also of death and bad news. Unfortunately, the black roses of Halfeti are an endangered species. They have been under threat of extinction ever since the residents of the village moved 6 miles from the “old” Halfeti village in the 1990s, when the Birecik Dam was constructed, which led to Old Halfeti and several other villages becoming submerged in the waters of the Euphrates.

Halfeti, Turkey
Click map to enlarge

Yeni Halfeti
The village of Yeni (or New) Halfeti

But the move to the new Halfeti proved fatal for the beautiful black roses. The villagers replanted them in their new gardens, but the flowers didn’t take to their new environment very well, resulting in a decline in the number of black roses grown in the region.

Government  officials have made efforts to save the roses. They collected seedlings from village homes and replanted them in greenhouses closer to their original surroundings. The rare roses have been doing slightly better, ever since.

black roses2
black roses3

Seeing a black rose in full bloom is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. If you ever happen to be in Turkey during the summer, be sure to visit Halfeti to see these very rare, albeit rather ominous looking, roses!

Sources: Today’s ZamanRocketnews24, Karapaia

H/t FOTM’s josephbc69


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