Chartreuse (color)

Chartreuse (US: /ʃɑːrˈtrz, -ˈtrs/ (listen), UK: /-ˈtrɜːz/,[1] French: [ʃaʁtʁøz] (listen)), also known as yellow-green or greenish yellow, is a color between yellow and green.[2] It was named because of its resemblance to the green color of a French liqueur called green chartreuse, introduced in 1764. Similarly, chartreuse yellow is a yellow color mixed with a small amount of green; it was named because of its resemblance to the color of a similar French liqueur called yellow chartreuse.[3]

RAF-Cardington-Shed02 (cropped).jpg
Catopsilia pomona 2 by kadavoor.jpg
Chartreuse-Liqueur 7586 (cropped).JPG
Henry Prince of Wales on the Hunting Field Robert Peake.jpg
10 Jahre SRZ - Schutz & Rettung Zürich - 'Parade' - Feuerwehr Küsnacht 2011-05-13 20-37-44.jpg
(clockwise) Cardington Airfield, Catopsilia pomona, Portrait of the Prince of Wales by Robert Peake the Elder, Fire engine in Zürich, Chartreuse liqueur
About these coordinates     Color coordinates
Hex triplet#80FF00
sRGBB (r, g, b)(128, 255, 0)
HSV (h, s, v)(90°, 100%, 100%)
CIELChuv (L, C, h)(90, 123, 119°)
SourceRGB and CMYK color systems.
ISCC–NBS descriptorVivid yellowish green
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
H: Normalized to [0–100] (hundred)

During the 2000s, yellow-green, as well as other shades of bright green like lime green, became a very popular aesthetic of choice due to various tech companies using it as office decor and other associated products and the massive popularity and success of the Shrek franchise from Dreamworks.[4][5][6][7][8][9]


History and etymologyEdit

The name Carthusian is derived from the Chartreuse Mountains in the French Prealps: Bruno of Cologne built his first hermitage in a valley of these mountains. These names were adapted to the English charterhouse, meaning a Carthusian monastery.[a] These monks started producing Chartreuse liqueur in 1737.

In natureEdit

Yellow-green algae, also called Xanthophytes, are a class of algae in the Heterokontophyta division. Most live in fresh water, but some are found in marine and soil habitats. They vary from single-celled flagellates to simple colonial and filamentous forms. Unlike other heterokonts, the plastids of yellow-green algae do not contain fucoxanthin, which is why they have a lighter color.

In popular cultureEdit

Traffic safetyEdit

Chartreuse yellow is used on traffic safety vests to provide increased visibility for employees working near traffic. The chartreuse yellow background material, together with a retro-reflective satisfy the ANSI 107-2010 standard since 1999. High-visibility clothing ANSI Standards were adopted as an Occupational Safety and Health Act (United States) requirement in 2008.[10][full citation needed]

Film and televisionEdit

The 1960 Universal film Chartroose Caboose featured a "bright green"-colored train car.[11]


ACT Fire and Rescue tankers in chartreuse green

Since about 1973, a sort of fluorescent chartreuse green has been adopted as the color of fire engines in parts of the United States and elsewhere. The use of chartreuse fire engines began when New York ophthalmologist Stephen Solomon produced research claiming that sparkling bright lime-green paint would boost the night-time visibility of emergency vehicles compared to those painted the traditional fire engine red.[12][13] The reason for this is the Purkinje effect, i.e., the cones do not function as efficiently in dim light, so red objects appear to be black. In Australia and New Zealand this form of chartreuse yellow is also known as "ACT yellow" as this is the color of the fire engines in the Australian Capital Territory.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In other languages: Dutch: Kartuize; French: Chartreuse; German: Kartause; Italian: Certosa; Polish: Kartuzja; Spanish: Cartuja


  1. ^ "Chartreuse". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Houghton Mifflin/Yahoo! Inc. Archived from the original on June 8, 2008. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
  2. ^ DuBois, Stephanie (August 7, 2020). "The Unexpected History of the Color Chartreuse". Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "Green Chartreuse and Yellow Chartreuse". Chartreuse Liqueurs. Archived from the original on April 4, 2008. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  4. ^ staff, Seattle Times (September 28, 2006). "Color forecasting: Shrek turns the world green". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  5. ^ COURANT, CAROLE GOLDBERG,THE HARTFORD. "Despite what Kermit says, Shrek's cool with his color". Cape Cod Times. Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  6. ^ "A Cultural Evolution of 'Shrek', from Blockbuster Hit to Historic Meme". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  7. ^ Bakshi, Pema. "The Final Frontier Of 'Ugly' Fashion Is Shrek Green". Retrieved March 27, 2023.
  8. ^ "The Unexpected History of the Color Chartreuse — Gallant Culture". November 15, 2021. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  9. ^ "Yellow-Green: What is it and How To Use it in Your Designs?". Picsart Blog. March 19, 2021. Archived from the original on May 26, 2022. Retrieved March 30, 2023.
  10. ^ "GovInfo". Archived from the original on March 2, 2023. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  11. ^ Sandra Brennan (2008). "N.Y. Times Overview of the film Chartroose Caboose". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 18, 2008. Retrieved April 15, 2009.
  12. ^ Simon, Stephanie (July 7, 1995). "The Green Firetruck Heresy : Some studies say red is not a safe color. But chartreuse just doesn't excite the masses". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 13, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2023.
  13. ^ Katley99 (July 4, 2009). "East Longmeadow 4th of July Parade 2009". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2017.

External linksEdit