Dahlia Types

The variety of border hybrids now available offers a dazzling display of colour and form to every gardener, and no special skills are required to cultivate or propagate them.In colour the flowers range from vibrant pinks and crimsons, through rich hues of mauves and purples, to the pastel shades of lilacs, pinks and creams, in size from tiny pompons to huge exhibition blooms up to 30 cm (1 ft) or more across.

Dahlias are excellent for providing cut flowers and will bloom vigorously throughout summer until the first frosts – in the right conditions a single plant may produce up to 100 blooms. Their various flower types (shown below) form the basis of the recognised groups.

Single.
Each flower usually has 8 to 10 petals surrounding an open central disc.
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Anemone.
Fully double flowers each having one or more ringsof flattened ray petals surrounding a dense group of shorter, tubular petals, usually longer than disc petals found in single dahlias.
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Collerette.
Single flowers each having broad,outer petals, usually 8 – 10 , and an inner ‘collar’ of small petals surrounding an open central disc.
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Water Lily.
Fully double flowers having large generally sparse ray petals, which are flat or with slightly incurved or recurved margins, giving the flower a flat appearance.
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Decorative.
Fully double flowers having broad, flat petals that  incurve slightly at their margins and usually reflex to the stem.
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Ball.
Flattened to spherical, fully double flowers having densely packed, almost tubular petals.
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Pompon.
Flattened to spherical, fully double flowers are no more than 5cm (2 ins) across – a miniature form of ball flowers.
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Cactus
Fully double flowers having narrow pointed petals that can be straight or curl inwards and have recurved edges for more than two thirds of their length.
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Semi Cactus.
Fully double flowers are similar to cactus flowers but have broader based petals, the edges of which are generally recurved towards the tips.
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Miscellaneous.
Flowers are in a wide range of unclassified types, including orchid-likesingle and double forms.
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