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Open AccessArticle

Measuring Camellia Petal Color Using a Portable Color Sensor

D W Daniel High School, Central, SC 29630, USA
Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, Clemson University, Anderson, SC 29625, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Horticulturae 2020, 6(3), 53;
Received: 12 August 2020 / Revised: 26 August 2020 / Accepted: 28 August 2020 / Published: 3 September 2020
The color of petals of flowering plants is often determined by comparing one or more of the petals to various Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Colour Chart cards until a color match is found. However, these cards are susceptible to fading with age and can also provide inaccurate results if lighting is not optimal. The cards also rely on the human eye to determine a match, which introduces the possibility of human error. The objectives of this study were to determine camellia (Camellia japonica L.) petal color using the RHS Colour Chart, to determine camellia petal color with the NixTM Pro color sensor (Nix Sensor Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada), and to compare these measurements using different color measuring approaches. Color measurements of camellia flower petals using the NixTM Pro color sensor were compared to published CIELAB values from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Colour Chart. Forty-five petal color samples were collected from fifteen different camellia shrubs. The RHS Colour Chart was used for each of the petals, and the RHS identifications were recorded. Measurements using the NixTM Pro color sensor were compared to RHS-provided CIELAB values that corresponded with the recorded identification for each petal to determine accuracy. The NixTM Pro color sensor’s measurements were also compared to a mean of the values, multiple measurements on the same petal location, and multiple measurements on different petal locations to determine precision and variation. The Nix™ Pro color sensor’s readings were precise in petal color determination and provided more nuanced differences between petals of the same plant and plants of the same variety in each of the color categories. The RHS Colour Chart provided an accurate depiction of most petals, but it was difficult to use with petals that had wide color variation over the entire petal. The Nix™ Pro color sensor’s measurements appeared to have more variation in the b* color space. However, overall, the Nix™ Pro color sensor L*, a*, and b* values were highly correlated with the provided RHS values (p < 0.01), showing that the sensor can be used as an accurate and precise substitute for the RHS Colour Chart. The Nix™ Pro color sensor can be a useful, cost-effective tool to measure the petal color of camellia and other flowering plants and rectifies many of the problems associated with the RHS Colour Chart. View Full-Text
Keywords: flower; pigment; plant; Royal Horticultural Society (RHS); reflective sensing; remote sensing flower; pigment; plant; Royal Horticultural Society (RHS); reflective sensing; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Post, P.C.; Schlautman, M.A. Measuring Camellia Petal Color Using a Portable Color Sensor. Horticulturae 2020, 6, 53.

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