With a number of only 10 to 20 types of black colored flowers out of more than 20,000 kinds of dahlias known in the world, the specimen has been enticing scientists for years.
While it is already known that red dahlias get their color from an increased anthocyanin level and the white ones are colored that way due to a high concentration of flavones, the origins of the black color in the flowers have long been a mystery.
A study conducted recently by scientists at Vienna University of Technology in Austria has shown that black dahlias register a low level of flavones and a significant concentration of anthocyanins, Scientific American reports.
However, it’s not the high activity of anthocyanins that causes the flowers to be black, but rather the plants’ ability to convert certain molecular intermediates into extra anthocyanins.
Scientists say that the findings have substantial value as they can help develop advanced flower breeding techniques.