With thousands of hybrid varieties of the dahlia, you have likely seen these flowers quite often, without even realizing it. A member of the Asteraceae family, the dahlia is closely related to more commonly known zinnias, sunflowers, daisies and mums. The dahlia was originally found in Mexico, where the indigenous peoples were utilizing the bloom both for medicinal purposes, and for a food source. The flower grew in the wild, but they also utilized the flower in their every day life; calling it the “water pipe” flower, because of its hollow stem.
Brought to Europe by Spanish explorers, the dahlia was officially named after a Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl who had died two years earlier. His name meant “valley”, and so the dahlia was given its second common name, “the valley flower”. Although an attempt was made to introduce the dahlia as a food source on the new continent, it was never accepted as such and became purely a coveted garden flower. Dahlia flowers are actually made up of groupings of florets; each a mini-flower as opposed to a true petal. They are found in a wide variety of groupings, from the simple single flower dahlias, with one row of florets around a center; to anemone varieties with multiple rows of florets in various patterns. In all, there are fourteen groupings of dahlia.
The dahlia is known for vibrant colors that span the spectrum; not only does the bloom occur in nearly every hue, but the vast range of patterns, shades and appearance of the florets can make unique dahlias appear as completely different flowers. The elusive “black dahlia” has been attempted for decades. Experts say it is still not been successfully cultivated; and that the varieties which have claimed the achievement actually exhibit deep, dark magenta color.
To explore the many faces of the dahlia, come into Central Square Florist of Cambridge. Whether for a wedding, a birthday, or simply to say hello to a friend – the dahlia offers you so many choices, you are bound to find one that fits perfectly into the bouquet. Central Square Florists will help you to create a dahlia floral arrangement for any occasion – call us today!