Dahlia dahlia

(dal' ee-ah)

Common name:Garden Dahlia

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 1-5' x 10-20"

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: opposite or whorled, simple to bipinnate, serrate margins, to 10" long

Flowers: horizontal or nodding heads, 2-3" across but larger in doubles, heads in 2s or 3s with 2-8 per stem, color varies, July through October or frost

Hardiness: annual

Soil: well-drained, moist

Light: sun, tolerates part shade

Pests and problems: tuber rots, wilts, viruses, botrytis mold, aphids, thrips, leaf hoppers, tarnished plant bug, stalk borer (most common pest, others less common)

Landscape habit, uses: borders massed or as specimen, cut flowers

Other interest: named in 1789 for Dr. Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus who made some of the original hybrids from plants brought to Sweden from Spain, and originally native to Mexico

Other culture: seed-grown cultivars are not very heat tolerant, bloom erratically and are ununiform generally; tuber-grown cultivars grow taller to 6' and may need staking, and generally have larger flowers to 12" across; divide dug clumps in spring before planting; force bud growth by planting a few days in moist peat moss prior to planting; plant 8" deep; remove all but one shoot for maximum flower size; avoid high nitrogen fertilizer to ensure blooms and not all leaves; dig a week after tops have frosted in fall; store in dry peat moss at 45-50ºF overwinter after dead foliage is removed.

Propagation: seed (28,000 seeds per ounce) for some cultivars, tubers for others

Species:

pinnata (pin-naa' tah)--common parent of many hybrid cultivars, often crossed with coccinea
 

Cultivars:

Only the most popular and available of the 20,000 or more cultivars are listed here. They can be classified by height into low (1-2½') and tall (3-5'). They can be classified whether grown from seed or tuber. Tuberous grown are classified by the Dahlia society into 10 classes according to flower type.
 

Classes of tuberous dahlias:

1. Single flowered. 3-4" across flowers, bedding cultivars under 15" tall.

2. Anemone flowered. 3-4" across flowers, dense central tuft of erect tubular flowers, 3-4' tall.

3. Collarette. 4-6" across flowers with an inner ring (collar) of shorter flowers, 3-5' tall.

4. Water-lily flowered. 4-6" across flowers double and flat, 3½-4½' tall.

5. Decorative. 4-6" across flowers, double, 4-6' tall.

6. Ball. 4-6" across flowers in rounded ball shape, 3-5' tall.

7. Pompon. 2" across flowers, double, ball shaped, 3-4' tall.

8. Cactus flowered. 5-8" across flowers, double, long quillled rays, 3-5' tall.

9. Semicactus flowered. like cactus flowered only rays quilled only at tips.

10. Miscellaneous. includes several smaller groups:

a. orchid-- single, ray edges rolled down.

b. star-- single, 2-3 rows of incurved rays.

c. chrysanthemum--double, incurved rays.

d. lilliput-- like chrysanthemum only 1" wide flowers.

e. peony flowered--2-3 rows of flat rays around central disc.
 
  
Cultivars class height flowers other
'À la Mode' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Ace of Hearts' 2 low pink to rose  
'Alabaster' 5 tall white  
'Albino' 7 low white  
'Alfred Grill' 10b tall pink to rose  
'All Triumph' 9 low white  
'Alstergruss' 2 low yellow to orange  
'Andrew Lockwood' 7 low purple  
'Apeldoorn' 8 tall yellow to orange  
'Arabian Night' 5 tall red  
'Arnheim' 5 low red  
'Arthur Godfrey' 5 tall red  
'Autumn Blaze' 5 tall red  
'Autumn Fairy' 9 low yellow to orange  
'Bach' 8 tall yellow to orange  
'Bambino' 10e low mixed  
'Banting' 7 low yellow to orange  
'Bell Boy' 7 low red  
'Berliner Kleene' 5 low purple  
'Betty Ann' 7 low pink to rose  
'Border Jewels' seed low mix doubles, semidoubles
'Brio' 2 low yellow to orange  
'Canby Charm' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Celestia' 7 low white  
'Cheerio' 8 low purple  
'City of Wellston' 5 tall  purple  
'Collarette Dandy' 3 low mix  
'Coltness' 1 low mix  
'Croydon Ace' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'D-Day' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Dahl Face' seed low mix large, single
'Dandy' 3 low red spiky second petal layer
'Dapper' 10e low mix  
'Deutschland' 5 tall red  
'Diablo' seed low mix double, bronze leaves
'Diamond' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Doxy' 7 low white  
'Duet' 5 tall red  
'Early Bird' seed low mix  
'Ellen Houston' 5 low red  
'Envy' 5 tall red  
'Eveline' 5 tall white  
'Fabel' 2 low red  
'Fascination' 10e low pink to rose  
'Figaro' 5 low mix common from seed
'Flashlight' 8 low yellow to orange  
'Flying Saucer' 8 tall mix  
'Fresco' seed low mix double
'Gerry Hoek' 4 low pink to rose  
'Glory of Heemstede' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Good Earth' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Grand Prix' 5 tall mix  
'Harlequin' seed low mix bicolor, semidouble, early
'Helga' 8 tall red  
'Holland's Festival' 5 tall mix  
'Honey' 5 low pink to rose  
'House of Orange' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Indian Girl' 7 low red  
'Irene Van der Zwet' 5 low yellow to orange  
'Jersey Beauty' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Kelvin Floodlight' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Lavender Perfection' 5 tall purple  
'Lawrence Welk' 5 tall purple  
'Lilac Shadow' 5 tall purple  
'Lilac Time' 5 tall purple  
'Lilac Veil' 8 tall purple  
'Little William' 7 low red  
'Little Willow' 7 low white  
'Lula Pattie' 5 tall white  
'Mary Elizabeth' 5 tall red  
'Miramar' 5 tall red  
'Mujaba' 5 tall red  
'Munich' 5 low yellow to orange  
'Murillo' 1 low pink to rose  
'My Love' 9 tall white  
'Nelly Geerlings' 5 low red  
'Octopus' 10b tall mix  
'Orange Julius' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Otto's Thrill' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Park Princess' 9 low pink to rose  
'Piccolo' seed low mix,bicolors heat resistant
'Playboy' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Potgieter' 7 low yellow to orange  
'Preference' 8 low pink to rose  
'Pride of Berlin' 7 low pink to rose  
'Procyon' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Purple Gem' 8 tall purple  
'Redskin' 5 low mix bronze leaves, AAS 1975
'Rigoletto' 5 low mix double, early, from seed
'Rosa Bella' 5 low purple  
'Rosella' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Showpiece' 5 low mix  
'Siemon Doorents' 5 low pink to rose  
'Sisa' 5 low yellow to orange  
'Smokey' 5 tall pink to rose  
'Sneezy' 1 low white  
'Snow Country' 5 tall white  
'Snowflake' 7 low white  
'Summer Souvenir' 7 low yellow to orange  
'Sungold' 7 low yellow to orange  
Sunny hybrids seed low 3 colors double, semidouble
'Tartan' 5 tall mix  
'Thomas Edison' 5 tall red  
'Trendy' 5 tall yellow to orange  
'Venice' 5 low red  
'White Perfection' 5 tall white  
'Winner's Pride' 5 low red  
'Wittem' 5 low white  
'Yellow Cheer' 5 low yellow to orange  
         

(Autumn Fairy courtesy photobucket.com, A Salguero)


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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