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Dahlias
Dahlias continued
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Dahlias continued

 Pompon

Also double flowered, these dahlias have globe-shaped, relatively small flowers. The petals form little tubes that roll back along their entire length. Though there are exceptions, pompons normally grow to more than a metre tall. They are tough and extremely resistant to bad weather. Among the most popular are: ‘Nescio’ (blood-red),’Franz Kafka’ (lilac-pink), ‘Pomponette’ (pink), ‘Natal’ (purple with velvety blush), ‘New Baby’ (orange), ‘Schneeflocke’ (white), and ‘Deepest Yellow’

Ball

Similar to Pompons, but the flowers are larger and less spherical. Among the most popular are: ‘Red Cap’ (red-blood), ‘Bonny Blue’ (lilac-pink), ‘Doris Duke’ (light salmon), ‘Peter’ (red), ‘Maren’ (orange) and ‘Golden Torch’ (yellow).

Anemone-flowered

As the name implies, these look somewhat like anemones. They have one or more rows of flat (not revoluted) petals arranged in a wreath. They are relatively short, averaging around 40 cm tall. Favourites include: ‘Brio’ (orange-red), ‘Purpinka’ (purple-pink), ‘Siemen Doornbosch’ (magenta-pink with a purple blush), ‘Honey’ (two colours, old rose and sulfur yellow) and ‘Toto’ (white).

Collarette (Bruce’s Favourite Group)

These have large flat ray-like flowers around an open centre. Within the ray and surrounding the centre is a wreath of shorter petals, often of a different colour, that form the "collar". These varieties range in height from 30 to 90 cm. Cultivars to consider include: ‘Alstergruss’ (orange-red with yellow collar), ‘Hartenaas’ (pink with white collar), ‘Esther’ (bronze-orange with yellow collar), ‘Brides Bouquet’ (white with white colour), ‘Walhalla’ (purple-red with white collar) and ‘La Cionconda’ (red with lemon-yellow collar).

Mignon

The favourites of many garden enthusiasts, these delicate dahlias have single, open flowers with a prominent yellow disc of petals in the centre. The plants range in height from 30 to 50 cm. Examples include: ‘Roodkapje’ (red), ‘Mies’ (lilac-pink), ‘G.F. Hemerik’ (orange-red) and ‘Yellow Sneezy’.

Peony-flowered

These dahlias have semi-double flowers with an open centre. For many years the most popular Peony-flowered dahlia was a cultivar called ‘Bishop Llandaff’, an old variety that dates back to the 19th century. 

It has a deep-red flower with bronzy foliage. This variety is no longer widely grown, and has largely been replaced by ‘Fascination’ a cultivar with lilac-pink flowers, but also with bronze foliage. It grows 75 cm to over a metre in height.

Top-Mix

These are dwarf dahlias, with heights around 25 to 30 cm and tiny flowers only 2.5 to 3.5 cm across. Cultivars include: ‘Scura’ (orange-red with dark leaves) and ‘Sweetheart’ (white).

Other groups of dahlias include Single-Flowering, Water Lily and Orchid.

As well, there are new groups of dahlias that are quickly growing in popularity. The three following groups have been bred specifically for their low-growing habit and are ideal for container plantings:

Dahlianova

Double flowering varieties in a wide variety of colours. They average between 20 and 20 cm in height. Cultivars include: ‘Arizona’ (orange), ‘Ohio’ and ‘Virginia’ (yellow).

Gallery

This series contains cactus and decorative varieties which become no taller than 30 to 36 cm. Examples include: ‘Rembrandt’ (pink), ‘Art Deco’ (bronze yellow with a red centre), ‘Leonardo’ (peach with a touch of red).

Impression

These are small collarette dahlias, suitable for bedding and perfect for use in containers on balconies and patios. Depending on the variety, height can range from 30 to 50 cm. Varieties to look for include: ‘Festivo’ (red with white-tipped flowers in the collar), ‘Fortuna’ (deep yellow with orange centre), ‘Fuego’ (red with yellow centre).

... and finally ...

Dinner Plate Dahlias

This is not an official classification, in fact these robust blossoms fall under a variety of classifications. Nonetheless all are huge and magnificent. Popular varieties are: ‘Babylon Bronze’ (golden orange), ‘Cafe au lait’ (cream with light brown edging), ‘Duet’ (deep red with white tips), ‘Kenora Macob’ (deep red) and ‘Fleur’ (white).

With the wide range of colours, sizes and flower types available, there’s truly a dahlia for every garden. In fact, most gardens could find a use for lots of dahlias, in beds, borders, containers, just about anywhere that would benefit from striking flower colour from summer through fall.

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