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Re: Velvety vs. Dull Blacks

Linda Mann wrote:

:  I was looking at photos of BEFORE THE STORM and thinking about DUSKY
:  CHALLENGER - BEFORE THE STORM is a flat black to my eye, almost absorbs
:  light.  Dusky C has a sheen to its flowers that seems quite unique.  Sharon
:  (or anyone), have you looked at the petals of these two?  I wondered what
:  makes such a different quality of color in these two iris.  

Dr. Werckmeister had an explanation for this, too.  It's a matter of texture.
Petals with papilla-shaped epidermal cells have what is called a velvet sheen,
while those with flat or slightly rounded cells that don't protrude are a dull
color.  This is a physical trait that can occur with many different colors, it's
just easiest to see in the near-black varieties. 

In iris, the extreme case is the plush black signal spot found on some
oncocyclus species.  The papillae are so pronouced that the signal not only
LOOKS like velvet but FEELS like velvet when you touch it.   

Sharon McAllister

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