Blue-colored orchid raises suspicion

A natural wonder or pricey man-made creation?

Long known as a flower of distinction, orchid lovers often describe the plant as sensual,  or majestic. Shane Carswell, an orchid enthusiast, prefers the word 'perfection.'

"I love orchids, it's just a beautiful flower," say Boca Raton resident Lauren Armetta. This past Mother's Day Armetta received 3 orchids, one of which was blue.

"It was the first time I've seen blue orchids and something told me they got to use food coloring or something," she told the Contact 5 Investigators.

"Nothing on the label in any way shape or from that says it's natural or fake," said her daughter, Eisa, who contacted the Investigators after she saw the blue-colored orchids selling for double the price of its more commonly-colored counterparts.

Armetta's suspicion only grew when it was time to water her new blue bloom.

"Once the bottom filled up and I tipped it over--- the blue water came out, it was really bright blue," said Armetta.

Turns out, Armetta's new blue orchid is actually called the Blue Mystique. The flower is dubbed the world's first phalaenopsis blue orchid.

The Contact 5 Investigators found the blue-colored orchid on display at major retailers like Home Depot and Lowe's.

At the American Orchid Society's world headquarters in Delray Beach, the Blue Mystique has been cultivating questions for months.

"We don't sell them," said chief operating officer Ron McHatton.

"We don't sell them because that would be an endorsement," said McHatton who tells the Contact 5 Investigators the Blue Mystique may be pricey, but consumers should also know it's plain.

"No they're not real blue orchids, they're white orchids that have been dyed," he said.

McHatton doesn't know exactly how the Blue Mystique gets its blue color.

So the Contact 5 Investigators contacted Silver Vase Incorporated, the company that produces the Blue Mystique.

The grower is based in Homestead,  but refused to speak with the Contact 5 Investigators, cancelling our interview at the last minute. Company reps wouldn't divulge how they make the Blue Mystique, only saying it's an infusion process that is patented and kept very secret.

On its website, the company touts its blue color as, "the result of a patented process that infuses white orchids with a special medium."

"That's such a scam to charge twice the amount. it's one thing to charge $20 but $40, that's highway robbery," said Elisa Armetta who, along with her mom, just wanted the truth.

"At least market it to say not a hybrid, not natural, Mother Nature did not create this," said Elisa.

Her mom, in the meantime, feels satisfied, her suspicion was right.

"See, I was right, I knew it couldn't be real.  Now it's not that appealing anymore," she said.

Armetta is also suggesting a much simpler name for the Blue Mystique.

"I would call it pretty white orchid turned blue," she said.

As a result of customer concerns, Silver Vase has developed new labels that will accompany the Blue Mystique on store shelves. The new labels state, in part, "with a little bit of magic we turn a white orchid blue."

The company also now warns customers that new blooms on the Blue Mystique will be white.

For more information on the Blue Mystique, click here.

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