Dahlia Cultivars

There are many attractive Dahlias available each year to be grown in the garden. They can also be grown from seed and often bloom the first year if started early enough. On this page we will picture cultivars, named and unnamed.

Dahlia breeders have been so successful in producing different looking varieties that to make sense of them an organising system is required (as for other genera like Narcissus). The following classification is that of the National Dahlia Society.

© National Dahlia Society
Group 1 – Single-flowered dahlias
Single dahlias have blooms with a single outer ring of florets, which may overlap, the centre forming a disc.
Group 2 – Anemone-flowered dahlias
Anemone-flowered dahlias have blooms with one or more outer rings of generally flattened ray florets surrounding a dense group of tubular florets, which are longer than the disc florets in Single dahlias, and showing no disc.
Group 3 – Collerette dahlias
Collerette dahlias have blooms with a single outer ring of generally flat ray florets, which may overlap, with a ring of small florets (the Collar), the centre forming a disc.
Group 4 – Waterlily dahlias
Waterlily dahlias have fully double blooms characterised by broad and generally sparse ray florets, which are straight or slightly involute along their length giving the flower a shallow appearance. The depth should be less than half the diameter of the bloom.
Group 5 – Decorative dahlias
Decorative dahlias have fully double blooms showing no disc. The ray florets are generally broad and flat and may be involute for no more than 75% of their length (longitudinal axis), or slightly twisted and usually bluntly pointed.
Group 6 – Ball dahlias
Ball dahlias have fully double blooms, ball shaped or slightly flattened. The ray florets are blunt or rounded at the tips, with margins spirally arranged and involute for at least 75% of the length of the florets.
Group 7 – Pompon dahlias
Pompon dahlias have fully double, spherical blooms of miniature size, with florets involute for the whole of their length (longitudinal axis)
Group 8 – Cactus dahlias
Cactus dahlias have fully double blooms, the ray florets are usually pointed, the majority narrow and revolute for more than 50% or more of their length (longitudinal axis) and either straight or incurving.
Group 9 – Semi cactus dahlias
Semi-cactus dahlias have fully double blooms; the ray florets are usually pointed and revolute for more than 25% of their length and less than 50% of their length (longitudinal axis), broad at base and either straight or incurving.
Group 10 – Miscellaneous dahlias
Miscellaneous dahlias are any dahlias which do not fall into one of the listed groups.
Group 11 – Fimbriated dahlias
Fimbriated dahlias have blooms where ray florets should be evenly split or notched into two or more divisions, uniformly throughout the bloom to create a fringed overall effect. The petals may be flat, involute, revolute, straight, incurving or twisted.
Group 12 – Single Orchid (Star) dahlias
Single Orchid or Star dahlias have blooms with a single outer ring of florets surrounding the disc. Ray florets are uniformly either involute or revolute.
Group 13 – Double Orchid dahlias
Double orchid dahlias have fully double blooms, showing no disc, that have triangular centres. Ray florets are narrowly lanceolate and either involute or revolute.
Group 14 - Paeony dahlias
Paeony dahlias have multiple outer rings of ray florets surrounding a disc, ray florets are flat or slightly involute at base and are flat or are to some extent revolute.

Dahlia 'Babylon Red' is about four feet high with seven inch diameter flowers. Photograph by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Babylon Red', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Ballerina' is pink with a creamy yellow center. Photo taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Ballerina', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Barbarossa' photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Barbarossa', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Bilbao' is around three feet high with 8 inch flowers. Photographs by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Bilbao', David PillingDahlia 'Bilbao', David PillingDahlia 'Bilbao', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' has garnet flowers and mahogany colored foliage (compare with the grass in the background of the last photo). First two photos by Arnold Trachtenberg, last by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff', Arnold TrachtenbergDahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff', Arnold TrachtenbergDahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Colour Spectacle' is about four feet high with super sized 8 inch flowers. Photograph by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Colour Spectacle', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Curly Que' photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Curly Que', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Mrs. Eileen' is about four feet high with eight inch diameter flowers. Photographs by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Mrs. Eileen', David PillingDahlia 'Mrs. Eileen', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Happy Halloween' is about three feet high, with three inch flowers. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Happy Halloween', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Karma Pink Corona' is about three feet high, with six inch flowers. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Karma Pink Corona', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill' is about five feet high, with ten inch flowers. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Otto's Thrill', David PillingDahlia 'Otto's Thrill', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Procyon' is about three feet high with three inch diameter flowers. Procyon is the name of a star which means "before the dog" (star Sirius). Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Procyon', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Purple Joy' is described as a double blue flower with a purple tint. Photo taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Purple Joy', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Red Cap' is three to four feet tall with three inch flowers. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Red Cap', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Rosamunde' is around three feet high with three inch flowers and dark foliage. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Rosamunde', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Seattle' is three feet high with 4 inch flowers. Photographed by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Seattle', David Pilling

Dahlia 'Summer's End' photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Summer's End', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Swan's Sunset' photo was taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Swan's Sunset', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Thomas Edison' on four different web sites was described as radiant fantastic purple, dark velvety purple, buds red opening magenta with a fuchsia center, and dark red. Photo taken by Mary Sue Ittner at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens August 2004.

Dahlia 'Thomas Edison', Mary Sue Ittner

Dahlia 'Yellow Happiness' is about two feet tall with flowers 6 inches across. Photograph by David Pilling.

Dahlia 'Yellow Happiness', David Pilling

These Dahlias were photographed by Mary Sue Ittner in August 2004 in the Dahlia Dell in the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. They didn't always have tags with names on them and some of the ones that were named may have been named incorrectly. I have included ones without names below.

Dahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerDahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerDahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerDahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue Ittner
Dahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerDahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerPurple Dahlia cultivar, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue IttnerDahlia cultivars, Mendocino Coast Botanical Garden, Mary Sue Ittner

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Page last modified on September 05, 2013, at 03:20 PM