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The Basics
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The Basics

Did you know that the dahlia is the national flower of Mexico?  This is no surprise as the accepted origin of the Dahlia is from the South American peninsula.   Dahlia's come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.  The following sections will cover the keywords used throughout this site to describe the individual flowers we offer.

  1. Color
  2. Form
  3. Size
  4. Glossary of Terms

We also have the "ADS Guide to Growing and Caring for Dahlias" from the American Dahlia Society for $3.50.


Code Description
AA (Giant), over 10 inches in diameter.
A (Large), over 8 to 10 inches in diameter.
B (Medium), over 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
BB (Small), over 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
M (Miniature), up to 4 inches in diameter.
BA (Ball), over 3.5 inches in diameter.
MB (Miniature Ball), over 2 to 3.5 in. in dia.
P (Pompon), up to 2 inches in diameter.
MS (Mignon Single) up to 2 inches in diameter.



Code Description
AN Anemone-flowered
BA Ball
C Straight Cactus
CO Collarette
FD Formal Decorative
IC Incurved Cactus
ID Informal Decorative
LC Laciniated
MB Miniature Ball
MS Mignon Single
N Novelty
NO Novelty Open Center
NX Novelty Double Center
O Orchid-flowering
P Pompon
PE Peony-flowering
S Single
SC Semi-Cactus
ST Stellar
WL Water Lily



Code Description
BI Bicolor - blooms with two distinctly clear and sharply separated colors
BR Bronze
DB Dark Blend
DP Dark Pink
DR Dark Red
FL Flame Blend
L Lavender
LB Light Blend - a blending of the lighter tints and tones of pink, yellow,
lavender, and other pastels
OR Orange
PK Pink
PR Purple
R Red
V Variegated - where two or more colors appear on the face of the bloom either in dots, splashes, stripes on narrow lines
W White
Y Yellow


Glossary of Terms

Two or more colors which gradually merge but are distinguishable from a distance of six feet.
The short immature ray florets comprising the central portion of the fully double flowers when at their prime stage.
A more or less flat, circular group of tubular florets fully visible in open-centered type Dahlias.
Small tubular florets which make up the central part of the flower head, each with a pistil and stamens but generally no other conspicuous flower parts.
Dahlia varieties which normally do not produce plant growth over 24 inches in height.
The split or fimbriation should be in proportion to ray floret length, and be no less than 1/6 of ray floret length, there should be a twisting in the area of the split involute or revolute ray florets, to give an overall fringed effect.
One of the small flowers which collectively comprise the flower head.
Flower heads with multiple rows of ray florets; the disc florets are immature and completely covered by the central rays when the flower is at its prime stage.
The ray florets curve forward along their length toward the face of the flower head.
Margins of the ray florets roll forward along their longitudinal axis. When fully involute the margins touch or overlap so only the reverse of the floret is visible.
The edge of the ray floret and the area adjacent.
Fully developed ray florets which establish and determine the maximum diameter of a flower, as distinguished from the immature central rays.
The common name for the conspicuously colored part of a floret.
Additional floral parts on ray florets having the form and appearance of smaller petals. Most noticeable in the Collarette Dahlias.
One of the broad, conspicuously colored florets, the structure of which suggests a single petal of an ordinary flower. These form the radiating border in the open-centered type dahlias, or massed together, the flower head in fully double types.
The ray florets curve backward along their length toward the stem.
Margins of the ray floret roll backward along their longitudinal axis. When fully revolute, the margins touch or overlap.
The ray florets have little or no curvature throughout their length.

(The above system of classification was paraphrased from the ADS 1997 Classification and Handbook of Dahlias.)