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‘Rainbow rose’ proves elusive

Updated: 2013-02-14T21:08:29Z


The Kansas City Star

Were ever it on, the bloom now seems clearly to be off the rainbow rose.

Calls across the area find few who are flogging this particular flower at what would seem to be its peak season.

These, er, exuberant blooms feature red, blue, orange, purple, pink and yellow petals all crammed together atop one tortured stem.

Clearly they are for those who mulch to a different drummer.

It can take several calls to run the rainbows down. As this was being written, two dozen could still be hooked at Toblers Flowers on 19th Street. They go for $119 a dozen, a good 40 bucks more than the less psychedelic, more traditional reds or yellows.

On his website, Dutch flower creator Peter van de Werken calls his 6-year-old, dyed-in-the-stem creations the “happy flowers,” but somehow we prefer the native “regenboogroos.”

It should be noted that these South American roses started out with a perfectly innocent creaminess before the tawdry pigment injections made them lose all modesty. YouTube shows folks trying it at home by splitting the stems and placing their sections in different food colorings. Far less brazen than the Dutch hues, but, hey, still an excellent exhibit of botanic vascular dynamics for the kids.

“I’ve had them over the years, but I’ve had a bad experience with them,” said Dana Nigro, owner of Village Gardens in Blue Springs, who bought none this year. “I don’t like them. The way that they dye them, the rose gets dehydrated and the petals get crispy.”

“We’ve never had anyone ask for them,” said Becky Miller, design manager at Fiddly Fig in Brookside.

Too polite to exactly sniff, she characterized them as “contrived.”

For guys, the rainbow rose is an excellent way to get to know one’s love interest of the moment.

Does she have taste? Does she exhibit tolerance?

And does she have sunglasses?

To reach Darryl Levings, call 816-234-4689 or send email to

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