AskDefine | Define dahlia

Dictionary Definition

dahlia n : any of several plants of or developed from the species Dahlia pinnata having tuberous roots and showy rayed variously colored flower heads; native to the mountains of Mexico and Central America and Colombia [syn: Dahlia pinnata]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Dahlia




  1. Any plant of the genus Dahlia, tuberous perennial flowering plants native to Mexico.


Extensive Definition

Dahlia is a genus of bushy, tuberous, perennial plants native to Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. There at least 36 species of Dahlia. Dahlia hybrids are commonly grown as garden plants. The Aztecs gathered and cultivated the dahlia for food, ceremony, as well as decorative purposes , and the long woody stem of one variety was used for small pipes.
In 1872 a box of Dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to the Netherlands. Only one plant survived the trip, but produced spectacular red flowers with pointed petals. Nurserymen in Europe bred from this plant, which was named Dahlia juarezii with parents of Dahlias discovered earlier and these are the progenitors of all modern Dahlia hybrids. Ever since, plant breeders have been actively breeding Dahlias to produce thousands of cultivars, usually chosen for their stunning and brightly coloured flowers. Dahlia plants range in height from as low as 12" (30cm) to as tall as 6-8 feet (180-240cm). The flowers can be as small as 2" (5 cm) or up to a foot (30 cm) in diameter. The great variety results from Dahlias being octoploids (they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes, whereas most plants have only two).
Dahlias are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Angle Shades, Common Swift, Ghost Moth and Large Yellow Underwing.
The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th-century botanist Anders Dahl. Until recently they were also named in Germany as "georgine" by the botanist Carl Ludwig Willdenow, after the naturalist Johann Gottlieb Georgi of St. Petersburg.


Dahlia 'Dahlstar Sunset Pink' is a miniature Dahlia cultivar with pink flowers that shade to yellow in the centre. Height and spread are 15 cm.

Bloom forms

The "American Dahlia Society" recognizes 19 distinct bloom forms:
  • Formal Decorative
  • Informal Decorative
  • Straight Cactus
  • Semi Cactus
  • Incurved Cactus
  • Laciniated
  • Ball
  • Mini Ball
  • Pom
  • Waterlilly
  • Stellar
  • Novelty Fully Double
  • Novelty Open Center
  • Anenome
  • Single
  • Collerette
  • Orchid
  • Mignon Single


Here are some photos of dahlias:
image:ADELAIDEFONTANE.jpg|Dahlia 'Adelaide Fontane' image:AKITA.jpg|Dahlia 'Akita' image:APPLEBLOSSOM2.jpg| Dahlia 'Appleblossom' image:ARABIANIGHT.jpg|Dahlia 'Arabian Night' image:ARTDECO.jpg| Dahlia 'Art Deco' image:ASAHICHOHJI.jpg|Dahlia 'Asahi Chohji' image:ASPEN.jpg|Dahlia 'Aspen' image:AURORASKISS.jpg|Dahlia 'Aurora's Kiss'


See also

dahlia in Arabic: داليا (زهرة)
dahlia in Bulgarian: Далия
dahlia in Danish: Dahlia
dahlia in German: Dahlien
dahlia in Modern Greek (1453-): Ντάλια
dahlia in Spanish: Dahlia
dahlia in Esperanto: Dalio
dahlia in French: Dahlia
dahlia in Indonesian: Dahlia
dahlia in Italian: Dahlia
dahlia in Hebrew: דליה
dahlia in Georgian: გეორგინა
dahlia in Lithuanian: Jurginas
dahlia in Hungarian: Dália (virág)
dahlia in Dutch: Dahlia
dahlia in Japanese: ダリア
dahlia in Norwegian: Georginer
dahlia in Norwegian Nynorsk: Georgine
dahlia in Polish: Dalia (roślina)
dahlia in Portuguese: Dahlia
dahlia in Romanian: Dahlia
dahlia in Russian: Георгина
dahlia in Slovenian: Dalija
dahlia in Finnish: Daaliat
dahlia in Vietnamese: Thược dược
dahlia in Turkish: Yıldız çiçeği
dahlia in Urdu: ڈہلیا
dahlia in Samogitian: Jorgėns
dahlia in Chinese: 大麗菊
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