Part of the Asteraceae family, the Dahlia is native to Mesoamerica, principally in the high plains of Mexico. It's been in Europe for over two hundred years and came from Mexico to the Botanical Gardens in Madrid towards the end of the eighteenth century. It was named by Abbe Cavanille in honour of Andreas Dahl, a Swedish botanist.
Cultivars currently available at the market include Decorative, Ball, Waterlily and Cactus, all with different types of symmetrical petal structures. And you'll find virtually every colour and colour combination, from white, peach, pink, red and purple to yellow, orange and burgundy, both as cut flowers and plants.
Many Dahlias come from Holland, but there are also UK growers supplying the market. For example, you can find home-grown Dahlias at Zest Flowers, Pratley and DG Wholesale Flowers. Peak season is generally from June/July through to September/October, depending on the weather.
According to the Language of Flowers, Dahlias symbolise good taste and elegance.
Decorative Dahlias have fully double, slightly flat and broad petals, often with a blunt end, and no central disc. They are the largest of all the dahlias, with flowers reaching up to 25cm in diameter.
Cafe au Lait
Cafe au Lait Rose
Ball Dahlias have a spiral arrangement of curved petals that form a ball or a slightly flattened sphere.
Wizard of Oz
Waterlily Dahlias resemble waterlily flowers. They have broad, shallow double flowers that are shaped like a saucer, with curved or flat petals.
Cactus Dahlias have fully double blooms, with very narrow petals from the tip to the base, that curve outwards. They range in size from miniature to giant.
Whether combined with other seasonal blooms in hand-tied bouquets or arranged in urn designs or tablecentres, Dahlias with their intricately structured petals add a wonderful texture to designs.
Here are some examples of gorgeous arrangements featuring this 'back on trend' flower...
Bouquet by Urban Flower Co
Bouquet by JamJar Flowers
Bouquet by McQueens
Bouquet by Rebel Rebel
Arrangement by Catherine Muller London
Urn Design by Rust Bloom
Arrangement by Petal to the Metal
Urn Design by Joanne Truby Floral Design
Bouquets by That Flower Shop
(Source: Lush Petals)
(Source: Lush Petals)
We'd love to see photos of designs that you've made using Dahlias from the Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Instagram or Twitter and tag us with @MarketFlowers. We'll then upload your photos into this section.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's florist's guide. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you...
P.S. Did you know that the Dahlia is the national flower of Mexico?