Dahlia Cav. is the correct and accepted scientific name for this species of plants in the Asteraceae genus. It was named and described by Antonio José (Joseph) Cavanilles in Icones et Descriptiones Plantarum in 1791. Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 38 accepted species in the Dahlia genus (as of 11/12/18 when I updated this page).
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.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to information about the genus or about growing them. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.