The black rose of Halfeti is a flower that is often mentioned, yet rarely seen. In fact, if you were to see one bloom you would have to be in Halfeti, Turkey, the only place in the world that they grow. It’s for this reason that they are often called the Halfeti Rose.
Roses. Women love them and men love to spend a small fortune buying them in the hope of being romantic. Apart from their devilishly sharp thorns, designed for the sole purpose to torture the hopeless romantic in every man, they are a beautiful sight with their common reds,whites and pinks. The aroma that they emit is simply enticing, the second best smell in the world second only to bacon. While we are familiar with white, pink and red roses, black roses are something that we are not all that accustomed to. Sure, they are often used for as a symbolism of darker things such as BDSM, anarchy and witchcraft, but it’s rare that anyone who uses the symbol actually has a real one.
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The black roses of Halfeti are a deep black in color. Some describe the darkness as looking artificial, as if someone painted a regular rose with spray paint. While they do look fake, they are as real as any other flower, and would certainly make for the perfect prop in a witch movie. One could even imagine Morticia Addams, from the Addams family , being delightfully depressed with a bunch of these black roses. But what makes them black?
The village of Halfeti has unique soil conditions, combined with a high ph of the groundwater that make it possible for the roses to grow black. Although they look as black as the ace of spades, they are actually a dark crimson color, and they are not black all year round. They are a dark red during spring and turn the devilish black during the summer months. Unfortunately though, as rare as they are, they are becoming even rarer.
In the 1990’s the village was relocated ten kilometers away from old Halfeti when the Birecik Dam was constructed. Even though it was only a short move, the residents noticed that the flowers didn’t take to the new soil conditions and other environmental conditions as well as was hoped. Many plantings failed, and officials in Turkey sought to undertake a program to save the endangered black rose flower of Halfeti.
If you are ever in Turkey in summer, it’s well worth your time paying old Halfeti a visit to see this unique wonder.