U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Pink, Purple, Pinkish-Purple, etc.

While picking some pictures of pink and purple flowers, I looked at the definition of "pink"and "purple" in Wikipedia and found several interesting facts.
"Pink is a pale red color." OK.

" The use of the word for the color was first recorded in the late 17th century, describing the flowers of pinks, flowering plants in the genus Dianthus." Interesting.

"Pink itself is a combination of red and white." Pretty clear.

"Other tints of pink may be combinations of rose and white, magenta and white, or orange and white."

Wow, orange! Didn't know that.

"In the 17th century, however, the word pink was also used to describe a greenish or yellowish color." You kidding me!

"The practice of assigning pink to an individual gender began in the 1920s. From then until the 1940s, pink was considered appropriate for boys because being related to red it was the more masculine and decided color, while blue was considered appropriate for girls because it was the more delicate and dainty color, or related to the Virgin Mary." Very interesting!

"Since the 1940s, the societal norm apparently inverted so that pink became appropriate for girls and blue appropriate for boys, a practice that has continued into the 21st century."
I am glad that they didn't use color photography widely before 1940s. It would be confusing for us to see pictures of our predecessors! Young grandpa wearing his pink pajamas...


"Purple is a general term used in English for the range of shades of color occurring between red and blue." Fine.

"In human color psychology, purple is associated with royalty and nobility." Yes.

"There is a disagreement over exactly which shades can be described as purple, some people preferring more precise terms such as magenta or heliotrope for particular shades."

"A difference in retinal sensitivity to red and blue light between individuals can cause further disagreement."

So, if you think that some of my blooms are not pink or purple, then we just have different retinal sensitivity!


  1. My favourite of all the plant colours

  2. After seeing all your beautiful blooms in shades of red, pinks and purple, my rods and cones have malfunctioned. They are all my favourite colours now. Anyway, thank you very much for this interesting fact.

  3. All shades of pink are pretty in the garden! I was especially smitten with the pinkish-purple monarda. Very pretty~

  4. Great post Tatyana!! So very true about the subtle differences on color and what to call those differences.
    Love your 'pink-peachy' dahlia, what a beauty...though all your photos are grand. Each bloom is showcased beautifully.
    I remember my grandmother (b. 1889) talking about dressing my dad (b.1929) in pink. I figured it was a trend of some sort, but your explanation helps with the understanding of why.

  5. A very interesting and factual post. Love the shots, everything looks great.


  6. I happened upon your wonderful blog while searching for information about tree peonies. (Yours is gorgeous!)

    We planted one last year and it had two nice dark, red blooms. I failed to cut off the old growth and am guessing this is why I didn't get the blooms back this year.

    I was afraid to prune because of the precarious MN frosts which turned out to be the right thing. The leaves and stems are extremely healthy. But, can I snip off the dead blooms now? Or do I have to wait for a frost - or the spring?

    Any advice is much appreciated and, again, great blog!

  7. I love the photo with the container.

  8. Thank you Sunweeds, Autumn Belle, Natasha, Heather, Jannet, Jen, Donna for your nice comments!
    It wasn't always that I loved pinks and purples. Once, red was my favorite color. My taste changed since I got my own garden.

    Diana, thanks for stopping by. I would snip them off ASAP. They recommend to snip off blooms when they fade.

  9. Janet, that is interesting about your Grandma and your Dad!
    Donna, that is a 3 year old Marta Washington geranium sitting in the container. I ovewinter it in the garage.

  10. Ha! I love this post! So great to know our words can change so much. I can't believe it used to describe a yellowish green hue. For some reason I take comfort in all of this, we humans can change our perceptions after all!

  11. What a wonderful post.Your blooms are so pretty. I really chuckled at the face on the tree. It looks so real one your tree ;-)

  12. Beautiful photos Tatyana, but that last one of the roses, wow, stunning!

  13. AMAZING photos!!!! They are all gorgeous! I love this post. Very interesting

  14. You have some beautiful pinks and purples there. I find that those are the colors I'm most drawn to when choosing new flowers for my garden, in fact most of what's blooming now is pink or purple.

  15. I can't help thinking that GI Joe or Action Man would have been rather appealing in pink...

  16. Your photos are absolutely beautiful. I may be wrong but I would guess you really like pink. Shades of pink are my favorites. Purples and lavenders are lovely too but not as common as shades of pink.

    It would have been fun to see those old fashioned gentlemen in pink waste coats and trousers;)

  17. Such beautiful flowers, just breathtaking shots!

  18. Tatyana,
    Oh so beautiful! What an inspiration your flowers are! My favorite, the Hollyhocks, SO PRETTY!
    I love your blog. I will be back again to see what you are up to!

  19. Ah Tatyana, each image more satisfyingly beautiful than the next! And we wer learning something new all the while. Boys in pink? Never knew that. Yellow or green referred to as pink? What??? Retinal sensitivity, hmmm. Sound like my husband, The Financier. He never sees the same colors as I do. Which of us is mistaken I wonder? HA

  20. Interesting post! I'm actually quite baffled by the pink thing. I myself have always preferred blue. Well, I'm a mouse ;->

  21. Thank you for sharing and illustrating what you learned. Your photos are awesome!

  22. Tatyana, your photos are amazing. Have you got a new camera or you just showing them bigger? Thanks for the laugh about grandpa wearing pink in black and white photos!

  23. Very interesting post, and beautiful photographs.

    Somehow I'm having a really really hard time envisioning my grandfather in pink. lol

  24. Yes, all shades of pink are beautiful! It's one of my favorite colors in blossoms. I enjoyed the picture of your Cosmos. You have gorgeous blooms!

  25. So many gorgeous shades of pink, Tatyana, and your photos are wonderful! That purplish pink Dahlia is stunning, and the Martha Washington looks beautiful in that lovely big container.
    I enjoyed reading about your trip to Alaska, and seeing your wonderful photos. The fireweed is eyecatching in that scenic landscape.
    Those little 11 year old tow-heads of yours are so cute :) You deserver the pretty bouquet!
    Thanks for visiting, and for your kind words. Nice to 'meet' you :)

  26. Hello Tatyana~~ Your posts are always so interesting. I have to take issue with Wikipedia on one point: The Dianthus was dubbed "Pinks" because of the pinking sheer look of the outside edge of the petal. You could take issue with this because I don't have a source to quote. I just KNOW, LOL. [Not.]

    Your pinks and purples are all beautiful. I was just looking at one of my borders this morning and thinking that the two main colors are pink and purple. LOVE IT.

  27. Они необыкновенны - эти остатки рая на земле. И всё же из всех пурпурных более милы моему сердцу фуксии. Если попаду на небеса, попрошу Бога сад из фуксий, чтобы райские птички пили из них нектар и пели мне тихие песни любви:-) Спасибо за прекрасный пост!!!

  28. I love all the hues of pink and purple. The photos of your flowers are stunning. You have a great garden!
    When my first daughter was born on the second of August, 48 years ago, I received a posy with pink rosebuds and lilac sweet peas!

  29. What a lovely post! Beautiful pics to go with an interested read. I especially love the photo of the cosmos with the dill (or is it fennel?) and poppy seed heads. It is perfect!

  30. So interesting! I didn't know this about the colors. Incredible pictures too! -Jackie

  31. Tatyana, superb photography!

    I love the hardy Hibiscus.

  32. Beautiful photography. My favorite flowers tend to be pinks and purples, so I especially enjoyed your flowers.

  33. For "orange" in pink, think salmon, coral, peach or apricot. (Still flying high Tatyana!)

  34. What wonderful shots! Beautiful.

  35. Pink, purple, magenta.. your flowers look beautiful! Thanks for the interesting story too.
    That's interesting about color-gender associations. If they didn't make changes I guess now we'd see nothing special about boys in pink. But still I wonder why they decided to change it anyway. I think I'll make a small research )

  36. I am losing my mind for sure. I thought I had commented on this post. The pinks are beautiful! Interesting about the boy/girl colors too.


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