Below is a recent article about plans to release a Blue Rose ... at first I was reticent about "genetically modified" flowers, but in reality it has been going on long before Gregor Mendel's famous experiments on plant hybridization. I guess we shall be seeing a whole new wave of genetically modified flowers - some speculate that you may even be able to 'custom order' your plant needs and colors via an online genetic engineering service in the not-so-distant future. Genetic encoding may take away the time consuming but romantic aspect or plant hybridization ... but the Blue Rose is a magnificent flower nevertheless - and this did take them nearly 14 years to develop, although it is speculated that today's technology can now accomplish this within a couple of years or sooner! Curious as to what your thoughts are on the subject? Should we be manipulating nature to such an invasive extent? When do we say 'enough is enough' - or do we? ___________________________________________ Roses are... blue? Japan set to sell genetically altered blooms Last Updated: Monday, February 4, 2008 | 2:05 PM ET CBC News A Japanese company on Monday announced plans to bring genetically modified blue roses to market in 2009, saying the flowers will appeal to the luxury gift giver. Suntory Ltd., known largely as a whisky distillery, and Australian researchers created the blue roses, which have a slight purplish hue, in a 14-year project. In 2004, researchers unveiled the blue flowers, explaining they had inserted the gene responsible for the blue pigment in pansies into the traditionally red flowers.Kazumasa Nishizaki told AFP the company aims to sell several hundreds of thousands of blue roses a year. "As its price may be a bit high, we are targeting demand for luxurious cut flowers, such as for gifts," he said. The exact price and commercial name for the blue rose have not been decided. Suntory also developed the world's first blue carnations â€” dubbed Moondust â€” which have been sold in Japan since 1997.