Thanks Sharon. So, if I'm understanding correctly... if blue and violet stains appear on the paper towel, but could not be seen in the flower, then there's still a good chance that some offspring could be these colors?
Being the end of our season here (in Maryland/zone 6-ish) I don't have any more flowers to try but will definitely remember to try that trick out next year with some of these possibly interesting seedlings.
I'm curious how much of the differences in appearance are just due to blending effects and how much is coming from other effects (pH, co-pigments, metal ions etc.).
I sure would love to see that color from the wilting cengialtii style on a fresh fall or standard!
Thanks for your suggestions, Tom
Excellent shot! It shows the change in color quite well and reminds be of an old trick for assessing seedling potential.
1. Cut the sacrificial flower just as it is starting to wilt, with enough stalk to sustain it through the test period.
2. Put the specimen in water, just as you would a fresh flower, but use a clear container.
3. Place the container on a pad of white paper towels, and arrange the stalk so that the flower is over the towel pad instead of the vase/jar/glass.
4. Let nature take its course. You may be able to observe some changes in color as the flower wilts, but most wait to close until the wee hours of the morning when you are sound asleep.
5. As the flower closes, something activates the precursor pigments and various shades of blue and violet that could not be seen in the flower will stain the paper towel -- and the water if some fell into it.
This works because the wilting process separates the two types of pigments. The water-soluble ones drip out and the others remain in the flower. I'll leave it to someone else to explain the chemistry of the activation of precursors.....
Is that a blatant enough hint?