NIIGATA – The Niigata Prefectural Government and Suntory Holdings Ltd. have jointly developed the world’s first lily with blue petals, the prefectural government said.
The blue lily was developed by transferring the genes that produce the blue pigment in campanula into lilies with pink petals, prefectural officials said Wednesday.
Niigata, which filed for an international patent for the blue lily last September, hopes to start marketing the flower after making it bluer and checking its ecosystem impact.
Lilies produce white, yellow, orange and pink petals but lack the gene needed to produce blue petals. Niigata, the nation’s third-largest lily-producing prefecture in 2010, launched studies to develop blue lilies in 1998. It then joined hands with Suntory, which developed the world’s first blue chrysanthemum and rose, in 2006.
The world’s first blue roses hit stores in the United States and Canada in November.