Blue flower color development by anthocyanins: from chemical structure to cell physiology

Nat Prod Rep. 2009 Jul;26(7):884-915. doi: 10.1039/b800165k. Epub 2009 May 6.


Blue flower colors are primarily due to anthocyanin, a flavonoid pigment. Anthocyanin itself is purple in neutral aqueous solutions, ans its color is very unstable and quickly fades. Therefore, the mechanism of blue color development in living flower petals is one of the most intriguing problems in natural product chemistry. Much progress has been made in understanding blue flower coloration since the comprehensive review by Goto and Kondo in 1991. This review focuses on the advances in the last 15 years, and cites 149 references.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins* / chemistry
  • Anthocyanins* / physiology
  • Color*
  • Flowers*
  • Molecular Structure


  • Anthocyanins