Turkish black rose ‘Karagul’ joins the world market

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A person shows black roses of Halfeti inside a greenhouse at Halfeti city in Sanliurfa.

To the bare eye, the fragile velvet roses in southeastern Turkey seem black and overwhelm the senses with their irresistible candy scent.

The rosebuds are simply as darkish, and when absolutely developed, the flower takes on the color of an intensely wealthy purple wine.

These black roses, referred to as “Karagul” in Turkish and thornier than others, can solely develop within the city of Halfeti with soil that has distinctive options together with a particular PH degree.

The distinctive color can’t be preserved elsewhere, specialists say.


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Now Halfeti’s residents wish to remodel the rose right into a model since Turkey’s rose sector is a blooming enterprise.

The western province of Isparta, referred to as Turkey’s “rose backyard”, at present dominates the trade.

In the present day, Turkey and Bulgaria make up round 80 per cent of the world’s rose oil manufacturing.

black rose 3 Aydin Cetintas, 45, a vendor of black roses, poses throughout an interview. AFP

However Halfeti resident Devrim Tutus, 28, has already seen enterprise flourish.

After arising with a marketing strategy to advertise the black roses, he now provides Istanbul with petals for colognes, Turkish delight and ice cream.

Demand is already outgrowing provide.
That does not cease Tutus who already has his subsequent plan: Karagul wine.

“There’s an enormous market on the market in Istanbul. It is all about Isparta roses. Why not the identical right here?” he stated.

Roses rescued

The black rose’s fortunes weren’t at all times so candy.

It as soon as aroused solely indifference amongst residents, stated an area official answerable for preserving the roses.

black rose 2 {A photograph} exhibits a black rose. AFP

“They have been in all places within the gardens however no person paid consideration to them,” stated his buddy who solely gave his identify as Bulent.

“Locals had no concept the roses have been distinctive. We transported some to larger floor and began manufacturing in greenhouses,” stated the official, who didn’t want to be named.

In higher Halfeti, one greenhouse operated by the city’s agriculture division is dwelling to 1,000 roses.

However the city’s residents rallied to rescue the rose after a dam on the Euphrates River flooded the area within the early 2000s, threatening to bury the flower like dozens of archaeological websites from historic Mesopotamia.

The development of the Birecik dam in 2000 was a part of a collection of controversial growth initiatives in southeast Turkey.

In the present day, 20 variants of black roses have been recognized worldwide — together with sixteen in Turkey, stated botanist Ali Ikinci.

“Karagul will not be an endemic species in Halfeti,” Ikinci, a professor at Harran College in Sanliurfa province, stated.

black rose 4 Devrim Tutus, a grower of black roses, poses inside his greenhouse at Halfeti city in Sanliurfa. AFP 

“However the specific ecology, local weather and soil trigger it to bloom darker there. If you happen to plant that rose elsewhere, it will not be as darkish or black.”

A French connection?

The professor insisted Halfeti’s rose was “distinctive”.

The color of the rose darkens, turning into extra black and the scent is stronger as one strikes from Sanliurfa — the place Halfeti is — in the direction of Syria, which is 60 kilometres (38 miles) to the south, Ikinci stated.

The Halfeti official defined the rose blossoms on larger floor as a result of the soil near the dam is extra acidic due to the Euphrates’ waters.

Ikinci believes the origins of Karagul might be the “Louis XIV” black rose, grown in France in 1859 and named after the French king.
However for Frederic Achille, deputy director of the Botanical Gardens of the Museum of Pure Historical past in Paris, it is a lot ado about nothing.
“‘Louis XIV’ may actually be reworked by the waters of the Euphrates… and bogus communication,” he stated with a smile.

Inexperienced rose

Halfeti can also be dwelling to the peculiar inexperienced rose that has the looks of a weed, however it’s actual and never simply photoshopped by avid Instagram customers.

“It stays mysterious. Some locals had it of their gardens. However as a result of it is odourless, it failed to draw consideration,” Ikinci stated.

Achille was blunter about why: “It is fairly ugly.”

The inexperienced flower was “only a curiosity in rose gardens” after it was launched in Europe in 1856 by British nurseries, he added.

However that will not cease Halfeti profiting from its actual, hidden treasures.

By the shores of the dam, a number of novice gardeners promote the black rose to vacationers alongside boat excursions to see the caves, now underwater.

Agence France-Presse

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