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Xanadu Color

Discover the Xanadu Color and How to Integrate It into Your Designs

There’s only a handful of colors in the English language that begin with the letter X (including xenon blue). So far, the most well-known one is Xanadu. But as you shall find, that uniqueness is mirrored in these pigments’ aesthetic beauty.

Xanadu is one of the most intriguing colors you could ever add to your palette. Not only does it have a strange name, it’s also quite a unique hue that’s somewhat grayish and green at the same time. Let’s have a look at what this color is all about.

What Color Is Xanadu?

Xanadu Color

Although it’s a shade of green, the color’s appearance can incline toward green or gray depending on the saturation of either tint. Some outlets also define Xanadu as a grayish cyan-lime green hue which leans more toward the blue and green sections of the traditional color wheel. It has a hex code of #738678.

Shades of Xanadu

1. Mineral Green

Xanadu vs Mineral Green

Mineral green is a very dark shade of Xanadu noted for its depth and vibrancy. This color is fairly versatile and can transform your interior décor whether used as a base color or on an accent wall.

2. Battleship Gray

Xanadu vs Battleship Gray

Despite what its name suggests, battleship gray is actually a shade of green and not gray. The color is best described as a shade of yellow-green. Battleship gray may also appear with slightly bluish undertones. It’s a neutral shade of Xanadu that blends well with both warm and cool colors.

3. Marshland

Xanadu vs Marshland

Marshland is a dark shade of Xanadu with considerably more green than gray undertones. You can alternatively describe it as a blackish-brown color which resembles the appearance of rich wet brown soil.

Due to its association with wet brown soil, marshland can evoke feelings of nature and fertility. It’s an excellent pigment to integrate into nature-inspired room décor.

What Colors Go Well With Xanadu?

Xanadu is one of the most compatible shades of green. The color blends well with various neutrals, including black, white, gray, and cream. The exact neutrals to pair Xanadu with will depend on the specific effects that you wish to achieve.

Xanadu Color

For instance, Xanadu will inject a degree of warmth and energy into its surroundings if paired with lighter neutrals like white or cream. Thanks to
Xanadu’s darker properties, the color will also do an excellent job at reducing the glare of lighter neutrals.

On the other hand, it will convey a sense of maturity and practicality if paired with darker neutrals like black and dark gray. Such combinations would be best suited for formal designs, such as office interiors or corporate events.

You could also blend Xanadu with shades of blue to create analogous effects. Since blue and green are both soothing, consider mixing Xanadu with bluish tints for an extra dose of tranquility.

Xanadu is a modest color that doesn’t strive to be the center of attention. That means its beauty may not always be noticeable at first glance. To bring out its elegance, you might want to pair it with pink or violet. It can be used with most shades of red to create magical contrasts.

Xanadu Color

You may also blend it seamlessly into hexadic color schemes. Hexadic colors are six colors which are equally spaced around the traditional color wheel.

A perfect hexadic combination for Xanadu would be mixing the color with old lavender, rhythm, cinereous, camouflage green, and auro-metal-saurus. Not only do these colors combine harmoniously. They can also inject a range of emotions into your design, including both energizing and soothing effects.

Another great tip for mixing Xanadu with other colors is to choose the right shade.

Darker shades of Xanadu resonate more with calmness and are better suited for painting your accent walls. They also blend well with warmer tones of other colors.

Lighter shades of Xanadu are relatively energizing while still retaining their overall soothing effects. These tones will work well when used as your base color or as a neutral.

Where Did The Color Xanadu Get Its Name?

It’s one of the many colors whose names have a botanical origin. This color derives its name from the appearance of the leaves of a plant known as Philodendron Xanadu.

Xanadu Color

Philodendron is a genus of perennial flowering plants native to West Australian, which belong in the Araceae family. It’s the second-largest genus in the Araceae family after genus Anthurium. According to the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, there were 489 different species in the philodendron genus as of September 2015.

Many species in the philodendron genus are grown as indoor or ornamental plants. The plants have many outstanding features, including their greenish-gray leaves whose appearance inspired the naming of the Xanadu color.

Aside from its association with plants, the name “xanadu” may also have different connotations depending on the context.

It could also refer to an ancient city of the Yuan Dynasty that existed in Inner Mongolia, China. References to the city can be found in a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge titled ‘Kubla Khan.’ The city was alternatively known as Shangdu.

The word ‘Xanadu’ may also denote Robert Greenwald’s 1980 American musical fantasy film.

What Is The History Of Xanadu?

Xanadu Color

Green is one of the oldest pigments in the natural world. Research actually shows that the human eye can detect more shades of green than any other color. Or more accurately put, our brains can distinguish between undertones of green than other colors.

A common explanation to this phenomenon is that it’s an adaptation we acquired while still living in the jungle. Back then, it was necessary to tell the different shades of green apart so we could escape the apex predators lurking in the foliage.

Xanadu Color

But while green has been around from the beginning of time, some of the color’s shades are fairly new. Xanadu, for instance, hasn’t received any significant mentions throughout history. We cannot immediately tell whether that’s due to the pigment’s late discovery or late description.

The only noteworthy artist who appears to have had a preference for Xanadu was Mary Cassatt (1804 – 1926). Cassatt’s 1894 oil painting titled ‘The Boating Party,’ which depicts what appears to be a family enjoying a boat ride, uses considerable amounts of Xanadu hues. The painting can be found in the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States.

How to Prepare Xanadu

As it’s a rather rare color, it’s fairly difficult to find a tube of this specific pigment in your local art store or hardware. If you’ve decided to add this to your palette, your best bet is to create it from scratch using other more readily available paints.

The best way to prepare would be to start off with green and then add hints of gray to it.

i. Purchase green and gray paints.

You can also prepare these two pigments using other paints. Green is a mixture of blue and yellow while gray is the result of mixing black with white. Since Xanadu is a relatively darker version of green, you’ll need considerably more blue than yellow to create a dark green color.

ii. Add your dark green color to a mixing bowl and slowly introduce gray.

You can also replace gray with white. However, white is likely to make your Xanadu lighter and more brilliant.

iii. Stir gently until you’re able to create Xanadu.
iv. Use a color chart to monitor your progress.
v. Tweak as required to achieve your preferred shade of Xanadu.

Meaning of the Xanadu Color

Xanadu Color

The emotions imbued by this color can vary depending on its various undertones. But being itself a shade of green, Xanadu derives most of its psychological meaning from green. Green is the color of growth and rebirth. That’s due to its association with Mother Nature.

Shades of green like Xanadu are also incredibly soothing. Adding such colors to your interior décor can help keep anxiety at bay. Not only is Xanadu charming to look at. Its tranquilizing effects can go a long way in bringing calmness into your living space.

This hue can also be a symbol of harmony. The color has this magical ability to banish all the chaos from your life and restore the much-required balance. As the color of harmony, you could use Xanadu between traditionally conflicting pigments to muffle their unsightly effects.

The Xanadu color may convey a sense of maturity and practicality. This has much to do with its visible gray undertones. Along with its association with productivity, Xanadu would make a great choice for  interiors thanks to its unassuming demeanor.

Xanadu Color

While shades of green do not generally resonate with luxury, Xanadu is a welcome exception. The color’s scarcity makes it a rare gem, allowing it to imbue a sense of splendor into your designs.

Be careful when using Xanadu, especially in interior design. Too much of it may be overwhelming. Likewise, Xanadu’s strong attributes may not pair well when combined with other colors.



Xanadu may be a rare hue, but that scarcity also makes it a precious gem for artists and graphic designers. Xanadu’s sheer beauty, coupled with its wide range of emotional attributes, makes it a welcome addition to any palette.

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