At 12:48 15/07/03 +0000, you wrote: >Dear all: > The first thing of interest in Dahlia species is how different >than those of garden Dahlias their flowers are . In fact, they always look >like daisies (some like Coreopsis, some like Tithonias) and from a distance >Dahlia imperialis flowers look like Clematis. > Alberto, Very true. > > >And Paul, Dahlia imperialis is not a short day plant here. It is obviously a >matter of temperatures as it flowers for a long period in summer and autumn. >When grown in greenhouses it starts flowering in spring and does not stop >until late autumn. I find a great drawback in tree Dahlias and it is that >they can be torn to pieces by wind and it is not always easy to find a >sheltered place for them in every garden. It was Uli who suggested the short day, not me. Here in Canberra what we grow as imperialis (the big open "spiedry" mauve flowers that resemble clemtis) open in late autumn just as the frosts are about to hit. We always used to use it to forecast when a frost was due as for 6 years running the first frost hit within 4-6 days of the first flower opening. Was very frustrating. This year we have had a very late winter (still waiting in some ways.... VERY mild so far frost-wise) so it was teh best flwoering I can remember. The Dahlia excelsa opens in early autumn theoretically. I have not had it long enough to know for sure in my garden. Hopefully next summer it will be fully established so I shall know for sure. The flowers are much smaller, rounder and more "filled in" than the imperialis and are a darker pink with a dark centre around orange stamen. Do these descriptions match with yours Alberto? It is so darn hard at times to find out if what we have here in Australia as such-and-such species IS actually that species or is something clsoe that is mislabelled. I probably have shots of both of mine if you would like to see them for verification purposes. It was fascinating to see the list of species too Alberto. I had no idea there were so many different species, but I had assumed there must be a few given the huge variety that has been bred into the horticultural forms. They must have come from somewhere originally to get teh vast differences in types, although I realise that selective breeding accounts for the majority of them. Still very fscinating to see the list. Thanks. Cheers. Paul Tyerman Canberra, Australia. USDA equivalent - Zone 8/9 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Growing.... Galanthus, Erythroniums, Fritillarias, Cyclamen, Crocus, Cyrtanthus, Oxalis, Liliums, Hellebores, Aroids, Irises plus just about anything else that doesn't move!!!!!