A blue rose that took 14 years to develop and uses genes from pansies to produce its unique color will go on sale in North America in November.
Despite costing a hefty 2,000 to 3,000 yen ($26 to 39) per bloom, about five times a normal rose, sales have far outstripped targets since its release in Japan in November 2009.
Now, Suntory Flowers Ltd., a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Ltd., wants to get a foothold in the huge North America's rose market, which is about six times bigger than Japan's.
Suntory Holdings initially targeted sales of 30,000 flowers a year in Japan, but the blue roses, marketed under the trade name Applause, sold 50,000 flowers in 2010 and 40,000 flowers in the first half of this year alone.
The flower is particularly popular with people making marriage proposals as well as for a wedding anniversary and birthday gift.
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