Just when roses were starting to get a bit predictable and cliché, the unattainable has become a reality: the blue rose.
You can nab your own bouquet of the world’s first blue roses this fall—they’ll be hitting the U.S. and Canada in early November, available at select florists.
The rose, named “Applause,” is the product of 20 years of research by Japanese company Suntory and its Australian subsisdiary, Florigene. While long symbolizing mystery and unrequited love in literature, poetry, and Japanese anime, blue roses have been impossible to grow because they are unable to produce blue pigments naturally. The blue roses you’ve seen at weddings or as high school prom corsages were actually white roses that had been dyed blue.
However, Suntory (which also makes whiskey and beer) was able to genetically engineer the rose by synthesizing the pigment delphinidin, which is found in other blue flowers like violas. They are reportedly working to make the rose appear more blue, because—as we all can tell—that rose is really more of a lavender, right?
Still, it’s a great feat of science, and Suntory explains it as such in their news release, calling the achievement a “tribute to scientific advancement, floral beauty, and the stunning conquest of a seemingly impossible goal.”
The company goes on to explain that they chose the name Applause as “a symbol of congratulations for those whose dreams have come true, as well as of encouragement for those pursuing a dream, whatever it may be.” That sure sounds nice.
Suntory suggests Applause would make an “exquisite gift for special occasions” and judging from the price, it better be a special day, indeed—the rose will cost about $22 to $33 per stem.