Featured Flower: Dahlias



Dahlias are truly beautiful flowers!  Their captivating form and myriad colors seem to express the very essence of joyful grace.  Dahlias can symbolize elegance and dignity.  They have been cultivated since the times of the ancient Aztecs.  They grow from a bulb, and bloom in late summer.  The flowers can range in size from two inches up to a foot across!  They can reach heights anywhere from twelve inches up to eight feet.

When I was in college we took walks in the local park where they had planted several beds of dahlias, and I became captivated by their tremendous size (the size of a small child’s head) and deliciously fruity colors (some of my personal favorites look like the colors of a tropical drink).

Dahlias come in a wide range of colors, including:  white, yellow, oranges, pinks, peaches and corals, reds, purples, even black!  (As well as mixtures of these hues.)


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Peaches and corals

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Mixed colors

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There are a wide variety of blossom forms, with petal shapes including: tight balls resembling Elizabethan collars, to gracefully arching tips, flames, to sea anemones, and blooms that resemble other flowers like lily and peony.

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to walk in a rainbow, here’s your chance.  Every year I make a visit to Aztec Dahlias in Petaluma on Adobe Road.  They have a tremendous selection of blooms for purchase both as cut stems and plants.

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These mass flowers bloom from late summer into October have worked well in my arrangements for weddings and events.

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I like to meditate on their beautiful imperfections.  You can get lost in their shapes and the flow of one petal to another.  It’s like being a bee or a butterfly.

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Text and photos by Nadja Masura