Get to Know Dahlias

Table of Contents

Flower Bio: Dahlias

Botanical Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Related To: aster, marigold, artichoke, coneflower, yarrow

Born In: The 42 species of dahlia originate primarily in the uplands of Mexico and Central America.

Bred By: J.T. van der Berg in the Netherlands received a shipment of plants from Mexico in the late 1800s and discovered the so-called ‘cactus’ dahlias, which have narrow, pointy petals. This plant is believed to be the originator of all modern dahlia hybrids. At this time, Dr. Keith Hammett of New Zealand is a leading plant breeder who produced an increasingly popular line of dahlias with smaller flowers and colored leaves.

Cactus Dahlia, Dahlia 'Mystic Illusion'
L to R: Cactus Dahlia ‘Friquolet’, Bronze Leaf Dahlia ‘Mystic Illusion’

All-Star Varieties: Dahlias are categorized by their flower type and the plant’s size. Some of the most popular dahlias are ‘decorative’ (fully double flowers), ‘single’ (one row of petals around a central disc) and ‘dwarf’ (the flowers can be any type, but the plants are 16 inches or shorter).

Fun Fact: Dahlias are available in a spectacularly large number of options, except for blue. Plant breeders of today are still hard at work to develop a truly blue dahlia.

Find more information about dahlias and how to care for them in our Plant Library.
Red, Orange, Yellow, White, Pink, Purple Dahlias


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