The verdigris carnation, a sort of greeny-blue colour, was one of the hallmarks of Oscar Wilde's attire at the opening nights of his plays. He had written about his association of the colour green with decadence, and thus it was natural for him to pick on the green carnation when he was composing a small in-joke for the opening night of "Lady Windermere's Fan". One of the characters in the play, Cecil Graham (played by Ben Webster), was to wear one, as were several of Wilde's friends in the audience in addition to the playwright himself. The ruse appealed to Wilde's sense of secret signs, which though they meant nothing would keep others guessing. In 1894 Robert Hitchens published the book "The Green Carnation" which parodied Wilde's relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas. Although it was written out of fascination with Wilde, it did nothing to quell the disquiet growing about Wilde's sexuality, and raised the ire of Lord Alfred Douglas' father, the Marquess of Queensberry.