Dahlia update

320083817243-0001@t-online.de 320083817243-0001@t-online.de
Tue, 23 Sep 2003 14:17:20 PDT
Dear All,

After having written the TOW on Dahlia earlier this summer, I promised an 
update later in the year.

I did some investigation and tried to find out more about species Dahlia.

Having spoken to several people about the tree dahlias the situation becomes 
more confusing the more I know about it: On one hand I was told that the 
difference between D. imperialis and D. excelsa is that D.imperialis produces 
perennial woody tree-like trunks and branches several meters above soil level 
whereas D. excelsa produces annual tree-like shoots from the base that do not 
branch. In another garden I saw plants which were labelled exactly the other 
way round...... both plants cannot be distinguished by their foliage and it was 
too early to have seen flowers. However, I was told that cultivation in large 
pots has produced flowers as early as August in a plant that was considered D. 
imperialis. There is also the opinion that both D. imperialis and D. excelsa 
are varieties of one single  species.
As the plants that are cultivated in England and other northern contries are 
usually killed by frost before they flower being used as architectural foliage 
plants we will perhaps not know which ones they in fact are..... unless they 

I saw a large bed of D. dissecta, the first flowers open and a lot of buds, 
light pink flowers over very finely cut leaave, quite attractive. Also D. 
merkii and D. sherfii, D. laciniata, D. coccinea in forms, D macdougallii, the 
epiphytic Dahlia  which flowers in November. I is more a large climber than an 
epiphyte and looks like an elder..... (Sambucus)

The trouble with species Dahlias is their tendency to get virus infections that 
kill them very quickly and the fact that they hybridize in an uncontrolled way 
so that the species itself is easily lost.

Well... hope this was of interest for you, bye for today, Uli

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