Hard to imagine, but there are 42 different species, 97 synonyms (including infraspecific names, and 19 species that are unresolved.
Dahlias are a native of Mexico and were declared their national flower in 1963. The tubers were once grown as a food crop by the Aztecs before the Spanish Conquest. Different species and cultivars can grow from 12″ tall to over 8 feet. Most species do not have scented flowers, so they rely on color to attract pollinators. There is a very good article on Dahlias in the Wikipedia that is worth reading.
Dahlias are one of the most popular bulbs and certainly popular as a cut flower. Dahlias are one of the flowers that are exhibited at fairs and flower shows. Personally, I like the smaller flowers, 2-5 inches in diameter. Some cultivars can get much bigger! Dinner plate Dahlias can get as large as 12″ across! While the bigger flowers are impressive, they do take a little more care. The ones I grew in Mississippi weren’t that big and I needed to stake them.
I bought Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and ‘Seattle’ from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs in the spring of 2012. They did pretty well although one of them grew much faster than the other. There are several cultivars I would like to grow, but you know, some of them are pretty pricey.
Dahlias are available at Lowe’s and Wal-Mart but there is a much larger selection online. I always liked Brent & Becky’s because they are a good and reputable company. They have printed catalogs available for spring and fall planted bulbs or you can visit them online at https://brentandbeckysbulbs.com.
Well, I should have brought my Dahlias with me when I moved back to Missouri, but I left them behind. SO, maybe someday I will start collecting Dahlias. I have plenty of room now.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I would like to hear from you.