Green roses certainly are a change from the usual rose colours we see. How did it happen? Have they evolved? We need to look at how flowers form. From the outside in they possess concentric layers of sepals, petals, stamens and carpel. Research has shown that flower formation is under the control of growth control genes which ‘tell’ a plant to start making flowers in an orderly sequence starting with the sepals and progressing through to the inner layers. Sepals form the outer covering of the developing flower bud. When the bud opens the sepals form a row of leaf like structures at the base of the flower. But in green roses a mutation causes genetic growth signals to get stuck, and so the unopened bud goes on making sepals, layer after layer, without ever producing the beautiful petals people so love. Eventually the aberrant signal gives up and the bud opens, but the result is a bunch of green sepals rather than a proper flower. (top right)
Some people like these green flowers so rose breeders propagate them which can be done only by cuttings or by grafting since green roses do not have the reproductive structures of a normal flower. Grafting takes a young shoot or bud from a plant and attaches it to the base of another rose. The transplanted shoot will grow and eventually produce more green roses.
Green roses are a vivid reminder that mutations can cause serious change in living things, but they cannot make anything evolve. At best they cause variations in kind; at worse, they cause loss of structure and function such as in the green rose. Creation Research has added a green rose to our extensive collection of unusual plants as a reminder that the real history of living things is from creative design to degeneration, just as the whole world has gone from good to bad to worse. Thanks to Bonita Cattell for donating these for our Jurassic Ark Botanic section, especially from our resident rose lover Diane Eager (left).

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