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Types of Dahlias

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Unabashedly flamboyant and dazzlingly vibrant, dahlias are some of the most loved flowering plants of spring and summer. There are over 57,000 recognized cultivars, all descendants of 30 original dahlia species!

With all that diversity, classifying dahlias can be a challenge—but this list is a good place to start!

Single – Single dahlias consist of a central disc surrounded by a single row of flat or slightly curved florets, arranged uniformly, with no gaps in the arrangement. Most flowers are over 2” in diameter, with up to 3 rows of bright orange or yellow pollen that endears them to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. They’re excellent for small sized gardens and containers.

Waterlily – These are fully double blooms with a striking resemblance to waterlily flowers. The ray florets are somewhat sparse in the rows, either flat or slightly curved along their length which makes the flower appear shallower than other dahlias. They’re great as cut flowers—a stunning sight in vases or afloat in a shallow bowl of water.

Collerette – Collerettes are marked by a collarlike circle of short florets close to the center. There’s an outer ring with a single row of larger, flat or curved, often overlapping florets. The open flower structure offers easy access to butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects. A wonderful addition to butterfly and cutting gardens!

Anemone – This beautiful single flower really does remind us of the popular Greek windflower, anemone. The center is composed of a dense group of elongated tubes. There can be one or more rows of flat florets encircling the center in a wreathlike arrangement. Anemone dahlias are surefire head-turners in containers and vases, and excellent for floral arrangements.

Ball – Ball dahlias are characterized by their round, ball-like flower form. The small, fully double flowers feature a seemingly infinite number of incurved ray florets in a flawless spiral arrangement around the center. Ball dahlias look stunning in vases and are priceless in floral arrangements.

Pompom – Pompoms, much like ball dahlias, are full double flowers and almost perfectly round. The petals are curved inwards and are packed tightly in the rows. The flowers are smaller than ball dahlias, but are equally as attractive in vases and cut flower arrangements. They’re extremely popular in bouquets, particularly in fashionable bridal bouquets!

Cactus – The unusual, fully double flowers of cactus dahlias have pointed tubular petals that give them a spectacular starburst look! The flowers come in breathtaking color combinations. They look stunning growing in small groups or as a specimen. Owing to the unique flower form, cactus dahlias have the ability to withstand inclement weather, including strong winds and heavy downpours.

Decorative – This group consists of perhaps that most well known of all dahlias—the Dinnerplates!  The big, showy fully double flower can be up to 12” across in length, and feature broad, flat-tipped petals arranged in either formal (petals appearing evenly) or informal (petals appearing irregularly) arrangements. Formal decorative dahlias are ideal for vases while informal dahlias look ravishing in borders and containers.

Peony – These fluffy, fully double flowers have the classic peony look! The center is surrounded by multiple rings of ray florets that are either flat or curved inwards at their base. Peony-flowered dahlias are fast growing plants popular for garden borders. Their open flower form makes them a magnet for a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies.

Mignon – Mignon are small daisy-like flowers that can be single or semi-double. The blooms feature a single row of round-tipped ray florets and have one or two rows of pollen. These dainty flowers come in vibrant tones and are great for window boxes, containers and patio pots.

Topmix – Topmix dahlias are very similar to the Mignons, only they are lower growing and have a larger number of blooms. These are quintessential bedding plants, a superb choice for borders and containers and a magnet for bees and butterflies!

About Vishu Sharma

Vishu Sharma has written 37 post in this blog.

February 9, 2017