Red Dahlias

Dahlias ~ Flower of the season

Dahlia season is upon us and personally we’re in love!

Heart hands

Dahlias flower from midsummer through to fall (or Autumn as we call it) and can blossom in all kinds of weather. The Dahlia is not fussy about what type of soil it grows in, making it a reliable and eye-catching feature in any garden. The Dahlia do require some thought though in planting as several of the species can develop into bushes expanding three or more feet wide and four to five feet high. 

The Dahlia originated in Mexico however numerous species can be found in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador & Costa Rica as well as parts of South America where it was introduced. In their native region dahlias were long grown as a food crop, their edible roots being highly cherished. The Aztec people of Central America also used the 20 foot tall tree dahlia’s hollow stems to hold and carry water. 

The Dahlia was popularised in Europe over two hundred years ago coming from Mexico to the Botanical Gardens in Madrid towards the end of the eighteenth century. The Dahlia was named by Abbe Cavanille in honour of Andreas Dahl, Swedish scientist come environmentalist. It was not long before the horticultural growers of the day discovered the Dahlia was a natural hybrid and when grown from seed, it readily changed its form and colour, so that today we have a range of Dahlia types that offer something to please everyone. At present there are 35 recognised species in existence. 

A few fun facts about the Dahlia:

  • It’s the national flower of Mexico 
  • The Victorians used the Dahlia to represent a lasting bond and commitment between two people
  • The more popular symbolism of this flower now is grace. It is a flower that one would give to another in times of pressure, to symbolise the inner strength of that person. It can also symbolise life changes and is often used in positive situations
  • Some cultures use it to represent diversity as the petals are multilayered, and no matter what the petal looks like, it fits perfectly with the flower

According to the American Dahlia Society there are 15 official Dahlia colours. Colour has a huge influence on emotion and how we understand the world. This means that when you give someone a flower, the colour of the flower also has significance. This is especially true for dahlias. 

The white dahlia, like other white flowers, symbolises purity or innocence. They range from icy, snowy white to creamy ivory and buttercream, and are popular choices for floral wedding displays.

The yellow dahlia brings happiness with its cheery, sunny, lemony palette. They come in a range of sizes and shapes, from the palest buttercream yellow to deep.

The orange dahlia, also very sunny in their complexion, are a bright and bold addition to any landscape bringing with them a happy and enthusiastic vibe.

The pink dahlia, a symbol of affection and love, ranges from a soft blush pink to hot rose, eye-catching in any landscape. Its colour reflects femininity. It is a good flower to give to anyone in your life to convey grace and kindness.

The dark pink dahlia is quite striking. It ranges in size and shape from giant magenta dinner plates to smaller rose-violet mignons or even miniature cellarette dahlias in shades of deepest rose.

The red dahlia adds a hot splash of colour to any landscape and attracts pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds too. If you choose to give someone a red dahlia, this will symbolise that you care deeply for them. This shade is also used to symbolise strength and power. It can be used to show the strength and power of the individual, or signify a commitment.  

The dark red dahlia, similar to the dark pink, are quite striking and dramatic looking. In flower arrangements their colouring adds a sense of romance. The dark red dahlia ranges from deep blood red to the darkest maroon.

The lavender dahlia is a symbol of beauty, elegance, and grace. The soft, calming colour of this dahlia makes it an ideal addition to any arrangement. 

The purple and black dahlia, royal and regal in appearance, brings with it a sense of sophistication. The colour purple itself is often affiliated with royalty and wealth.

The light blend dahlia is considered to be a fusion of the lighter tone dahlias such as pink, yellow, and lavender. Several of the light blends are two toned where the central rays are a different colour than the outer, or marginal rays.

The bronze dahlia, slightly metallic looking hence the name, are almost a blend of orange, yellow, and brown. They are in high demand for weddings. 

The flame dahlia ooze heat with their colouring. They are ravishing shades of red, orange and yellow that call fire to mind.

The dark blend dahlia is a brilliant fusion of the darker tone dahlias, consisting of deep reds, purples, oranges, pinks, lavenders, and bronzes. When classifying a dahlia as a dark blend, the white tones can be ignored. 

The variegated dahlia blooms with two or more colours in varying patterns such as dots, splashes, or stripes. Given their unique patterns and colourful appearance, they are a beautiful and striking addition to any landscape. 

Last but definitely not least, the bicolour dahlia blossoms with two sharply separated, distinct, and clear colours. Their eye-catching appearance would turn any scenery into a rainbow of colours instantly.

Bunch of flowers
Bunch of flowers

The Dahlia flower’s message is:

Celebrate what makes you different. Seek out the new pleasures in life and keep moving through the challenges instead of letting them hold you back.

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