Fact Check

'Rare Black Rose' Only Grows in a Village in Turkey

A video shows a "rare black rose" that only seems to grow in one small village on the Anatolian Peninsula.

Published May 27, 2016

A rare black rose grows naturally in Turkey.

On 25 May 2016, the Facebook page Higher Perspective published the above video purportedly showing a rare black rose that grows naturally in Turkey. Higher Perspective was not the first entity to make this claim. This rumor has been circulating since at least 2013, when RocketNews24 published a story about a rare black rose:

black rose 2

Until now, we never really understood what all the fuss was about roses. Women seem to love them, and men seem to spend inordinate amounts of money to purchase them for their sweethearts. But now that we’ve seen the pitch-black Turkish Halfeti Rose, we’re starting to understand that roses can be not only dangerous, kind of smelly and enchanting all at the same time, they can also be the perfect centerpiece of the most hardcore heavy metal album or low fantasy book cover of all time.

These roses, which appear perfectly black to the naked eye, are said to grow only in small quantities and only in the tiny village of Halfeti, Turkey. The unique soil conditions and pH levels of groundwater in the area – which seeps in from the Euphrates – create the deep crimson red color of the rose, which is, for all intents and purposes, solid black unless inspected very closely.

The origin of the black rose story followed a daisy chain of misinformation. RocketNews24 cited the Japanese-language blog Karapaia, which in turn cited a 2007 story published by Todays Zaman, which was reportedly based off a local news article published in Anatolia. Somewhere during the process, the rumor that black roses occur naturally in Turkey was born.

Yet we found no evidence of black roses growing naturally in Turkey or any other part of the world. While very dark red roses (which can appear almost black) do grow in nature, the photographs featured in the Higher Perspective video, as well as the ones included in the Rocket News article, were either digitally manipulated or featured dyed roses:

The only thing close to a black rose are the very dark red roses referred to as Black Magic Roses or Bacarra Roses.  There is no such thing as a real black rose that Mother Nature has produced.  However roses can be tinted black to give a black color appearance.

For instance, the first rose featured in the Higher Perspective video was digitally darkened:


It should also be noted that many of these photographs were not associated with the claim that they were grown in Turkey until they were included in the RocketNews24 article published in 2013. When Todays Zaman published their article about the alleged "black rose," they included a photograph of a dark red flower:

the black rose

It is possible that there is a type of flower with extremely dark coloring that's native to Turkey, but if it does exist, it's not shown in these photographs.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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