Plant Structure, Function, and Use

Plant Structures

Where did a black dahlia get its color?

Scientists have long known the molecular mechanisms that give a plant called a dahlia its wide spectrum of color. These colors are created by the accumulation of flavonoids, with the over 20,000 varieties of dahlia cultivars ranging from white to purple. But the black dahlia is rare in comparison to the other colors. In 2012, scientists uncovered the reason: the black cultivars had a low concentration of flavones; this, in turn, favors the accumulation of the anthocyanins—and the dark color is formed.


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