Life In Colour: Purple Anxiety

Dark purple auricula with white centre

HeyJude may not have been expecting to raise a debate about colour naming and perception when she announced purple as the colour of the month.

Part of the trouble is she has warned us to stay clear of violet which sent this blogger into paroxysms of violet anxiety. What actually is violet? My associations are few: the folk name of a flower (which is often purple), the last colour of a rainbow (who could put their finger on that?), and ultraviolet (something our eyes don’t see).


Purple hellebore

To muddy the water, our dear friend RestlessJo has found herself turning into a conscientious objector, pointing out with some bemusement when purples veer into pinkiness or burgundiness.

Purple martagon lily
Martagon lily

It is all getting controversial. I’d have said these lilies were purple without much thought a week ago, but now have to concede that they are pink in places.

Ought I to feel like a mariner steering a steady path in heavy seas between rocks or more like someone putting my hand in a basket of kittens? I’ve never done either, but here goes!

Dark purple violas

I’ve chosen dark purples as my tribute to Seb and Nina, caring Coronation Street characters (in the UK’s longest running soap) targeted by young thugs because of her Victorian Goth identity. Tragically, the storyline is designed to raise awareness for the true story of Sophie Lancaster who died after she and her boyfriend were beaten in a Lancashire park. The charity established in her name by her mother works for a kinder and more tolerant world. 

39 Replies to “Life In Colour: Purple Anxiety”

    1. That’s pretty much my feeling too, although my sweetheart says he has one of the really pongy ones flowering in his garden and is having to keep the door shut.

  1. The naming of plant colours is always contentious. So many flowers are called blue when they are actually purple. Or red when they are really dark pink.

    1. I was thinking about how many blue flowers aren’t blue when I was writing this. Red and blue flowers are evidently more commercial than purple or pink ones.

    1. I dare say by the end of the month, we’ll all have them down. I just hope nobody asks me if lilac and lavender are light purple or light violet. 🙂

  2. Beautiful flowers and I had a huge grin on my face reading about your purple problem. Thanks for the pretty images and making me smile 😊

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