Interflora scientists grow the world’s first polka dot rose

by Charlotte.Barnes on March 31, 2010

Polka Dot Rose
After years of patient research, scientists at Interflora’s plant cultivation facility have succeeded in creating polka dot roses.

The development is a triumph in complex plant breeding and the result of a decade-long development project.

The flower cultivation team – headed by Professor Winston Davies, a renowned authority on micro-propagation and plant biochemistry – has, in effect, developed a new plant variety, the world’s first white rose with pink spots.

Professor Davies said: “The polka dot rose – which looks both beautiful and, one might say, at the same time strangely unnatural – is the result of more than 10 years of research by the team at the Interflora plant cultivation facility.

Interflora-geneticists“The key to unlocking this puzzle – how to engineer the plant’s DNA to produce highly regular colouration patterns in a uniform fashion we simply don’t normally see in nature – lay in using recombinant technology, in which DNA molecules from different sources were combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes.

“The result is our polka dot rose, which I think is rather pretty. My wife Annie loves it!”

The Interflora polka dot roses have been created to satisfy consumer demand. Over the years, Interflora has been contacted by a number of customers asking if it would ever be possible to buy flowers with ‘artificial’ patterns, often because of the desire to send flowers to someone intrigued by a particular design.

The requests did not go unnoticed and the team were happy to take up the challenge. Until now the company has kept the project under wraps, but it is now ready to unveil the bizarre but beautiful creation.


The polka dot pattern reached the height of its popularity during the 1950s and 60s and was even immortalised in song, when Brain Hyland released as a single his Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

The polka dot pattern has been seen in a wide variety of contexts, from clothing through to homeware, and has seen designers such as Emma Bridgewater and Cath Kidston using the pattern extensively in their collections.

At the time of writing, no release date has been finalised for the launch on to the market of the Interflora polka dot rose, but you can expect to see specimens in florist shops before the end of summer. Look out first for the polka dot rose used within Interflora’s popular Six Stolen Kisses bouquet.

The polka dot rose – which is sure to cause a stir in the fields of botany and plant cultivation – was developed amid tight security at Interflora’s Lincolnshire plant cultivation facility.

Along with the launch in the UK you’ll also be able to get these flowers in Ireland

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Charlotte Barnes

Post category: Best Posts, Flowers, Industry News, Interflora Flowers, Interflora News, News, Roses  

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

daryl apifloosa 31 Mar 2010 at 6:05 pm

How amazing would a bouquet of these and the sky-blue pink with a finny addy border roses look! Can’t wait to see them for sale.

Lyla Jones 01 Apr 2010 at 9:43 am

Loving the roses – pink and white are my favourite colours, so the combination of the two is great. The polka dots add a retro kitcsh feel to a normally elegant gift. These will certainly be on my wish list….

Simon Young 01 Apr 2010 at 9:50 am

I have been stocking these roses for years already and they are grown in a field full of flowers in Doncaster.

Joy gill 01 Apr 2010 at 10:52 am

They will go lovely with the rainbow striped aspidistra leaves that e-florist have unveiled funnily enough today as well

vapid ness 01 Apr 2010 at 7:18 pm

I have been buying these roses from Simon since he first stocked them and can confirm that they are absolutely beautiful.

tammi 01 Apr 2010 at 7:39 pm

April Fool’s right?
Pretty good….almost got me. 🙂

joe 01 Apr 2010 at 7:41 pm

I smell photoshop.

Coco 01 Apr 2010 at 7:45 pm

This has got to be an APRIL FOOLS trick, lol… if not kool.

Ad 01 Apr 2010 at 8:09 pm

Surely SOMEONE realised it’s April 1st???

Luke 01 Apr 2010 at 8:22 pm

I hear interflora are also developing some Burberry pattern roses too! That’ll go well with some Burberry paint!

Anhinga 01 Apr 2010 at 8:53 pm

April Fools?

fizz 01 Apr 2010 at 9:31 pm

april fool’s?

Nonstickron 01 Apr 2010 at 9:37 pm

April Fools!!

Jessa C 01 Apr 2010 at 10:08 pm

Happy April Fools…You had me excited until I realized the date, and looked at the day that this was posted. I wish this were true….This is the only prank that’s been pulled on me all day. Apparently when you’re 14 your too old for April fools. That’s what I learned at school today…=(

Claire 02 Apr 2010 at 2:23 am

is this an April Fools joke, or real?

Peter 02 Apr 2010 at 4:07 am

Y’all know it’s April Fool’s day, right?

Michael 02 Apr 2010 at 5:02 am

I’m pretty sure it’s an april fool!

Haze 02 Apr 2010 at 5:36 am

I smell April Fools

Jay Beech 02 Apr 2010 at 6:00 am

Let me guess: APRIL FOOLS!

Recombinant DNA technology would involve splicing the DNA of one organism into this Rose species…so it must exist elsewhere in nature…nice try folks. 😉

James 02 Apr 2010 at 6:01 am

April fool’s!

Sajjad Khan 02 Apr 2010 at 8:09 am

Vow! Lovely! Wonderful! Exquisite! Extraordinary! are the few words when I just saw the beautifully pink polka-dotted white roses created by Interflora scientists, mailed by a friend to me on Facebook.

Paul 02 Apr 2010 at 8:41 am

Happy April Fool’s Day!!!

wow 02 Apr 2010 at 9:13 am

yea april fools…..

Brody 02 Apr 2010 at 9:21 am

Nice April fool’s joke…

Fools 02 Apr 2010 at 9:23 am

Haha it’s an April Fools joke guys..

Abraham 02 Apr 2010 at 12:08 pm

I wanna see them grow a rose with paisley…now that would be something

Alan 02 Apr 2010 at 1:57 pm

and so close to April 1st for my fools bouquets!

paizlea 02 Apr 2010 at 4:21 pm

I find it suspicious that this was posted on 3/31…has this been reported any place else?

Cathy 02 Apr 2010 at 8:54 pm

My previous comment was deleted – all I want to know is if this is for real! If so, I’ll get in line to buy these beautiful flowers. If not – what a great April Fools’ joke!

Al Burque 02 Apr 2010 at 9:16 pm

April Fools

munki 02 Apr 2010 at 11:38 pm

April fools…….

BR 03 Apr 2010 at 7:32 am

April Fools, right? That’s too darn weird to be true.

Zarqwn 03 Apr 2010 at 10:11 am

Oh Come On! This has got to have been an April Fool joke…. I mean seriously…. polka dot roses!

manusha jayatilake 03 Apr 2010 at 2:01 pm

this is just amazingly wonderful !!!! though i don’t want to sound like a girlie girl, i am very impressed by the abilities of all those scientists who contributed such a beautiful creation to the world… thank you guys… GREAT job !!!! 🙂

Den 03 Apr 2010 at 7:57 pm

April fools

Jordan 04 Apr 2010 at 7:50 pm

April Fools…?

Audball C. Audball 05 Apr 2010 at 3:10 am

Being so close to April Fool’s and all, I do have to wonder . . . . I hope I’m wrong!

Ms Boots Bautista 10 Apr 2010 at 8:28 pm

I love roses! Please let me know where to get some of the plant so that I can plant it in my garden.

Haley 14 Apr 2010 at 7:55 am

Headline tomorrow: Worlds first polka dot rose grows violently out of control and climbs out of planter, eats scientists.

Jon 23 Apr 2010 at 4:08 am

I wonder where they acquired the foreign dna from

solar 04 Jul 2010 at 11:58 am

Seems fake, but if it’s real then…okay. Weird. All I can think of is…there weren’t more important problems for these scientists to be working out than how to get spots on flowers?

load shedding 30 Aug 2010 at 10:39 am

wow i can’t believe how many people fell for this. Anyone notice the date on the article? And the terrible photoshopping for that matter?

Anon 03 Jan 2011 at 11:42 am

This is somewhat disgusting. But then again I’m a fan of the natural, un-selectively bred five petal rose…

To each his own, so long as it doesn’t involve mono-cropping.

solar hot water Peter 05 Jul 2011 at 12:02 pm

Interflora scientists grow the world’s first polka dot rose. – interflora From the page: After years of patient research, scientists at Interflora’s plant cultivation facility have succeeded in creating polka dot roses.

{ 5 trackbacks }

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