What "really" is the Coerulea Color From?

What is the coerulea color form in Phalaenopsis?  I see a lot of comments these days about what is a coerulea and what is not a coerulea, and using being loosely determined by what other pigments are and are not being expressed. Ultimately I think we are looking at this incorrectly and we need to redefine what a coerulea form is.

In the genus Phalaenopsis, there are no blue pigments.  There are a range of green, yellow, orange, magenta and violet pigments.   It's the combination of these pigments that gives us the full range of colors that we see in Phalaenopsis.   While coeruleas are sometimes referred to as "blue" Phalaenopsis, in reality they are a violet in color.  But what actually makes them this violet color?

Hybridizers Notebook - Looking back at 2007 and forward to 2008

Happy New Year and thank you to our current patrons and friends that have supported us over the years. Welcome to our new friends that have starting to discover the exciting new breeding direction of coerulea Phalaenopsis. 2007 was a fun year for us as we've started to see some our work come to fruition with some first blooms that have validated our program. The greenhouse is full of new crosses that are spiking for the first time and the lab is full of even more exciting crosses that represent the leading edge in coerulea Phal breeding. 2007 was a great year and looking forward we can see that 2008 is going to be even greater.

Hybridizers Notebook - Current Breeding Program as of July 2007

This article was originally written for the HybridizersForum.com. If you are interested in orchid breeding, then it is a great online community to participate in. Some of the information in this article is a rehash of some previous things I have talked about and some of this is I am presenting for the first time to the public. As I will state several times, please keep in mind some of this changes on a frequent basis.

Hybridizers Notebook - Sept. 2006 Thoughts on Coerulea Phalaenopsis Breeding

In this section I'm going to spend some time discussing my thoughts on breeding directions for blue Phalaenopsis. As there is currently very little available information, most of the information presented is based on my own observations and opinions. I have been growing and hybridizing orchids for over 20 years now and consider myself an advanced grower. But by no means am I an expert at plant physiology. For that reason most of my thoughts on this subject are not strictly based on scientifically proven methods, but my own observations.

Overview of Current Coerulea Phalaenopsis Species and Hybrids, through June 2006

The elusive blue orchid represents the very mystery and exclusivity that the first attracted so many to the world of orchid growing. Now that orchids are cheaply mass produced, it is that unique or rare orchid that challenges and drives serious enthusiasts to expand their collections. Perhaps in the days to come coerulea Phalaenopsis with be the next trend in modern Phalaenopsis hybrids.

Hybridizers Notebook - Sept. 2005 Thoughts on Coerulea Phalaenopsis Breeding

Breeding for blue in Phalaenopsis is a particularly difficult prospect in that the pigments traditionally associated with blue do not exist in Phalaenopsis. To further complicate the matter, neither condition that results in blue coloration in phals is a particularly dominate trait. Pigment combining techniques such as using yellow pigments to enhance the color of a red orchid is highly effective in creating highly saturated red Phalaenopsis hybrids but will not work in this situation.