Dahlias come in many sizes, colours and shapes. They are a favourite flower to cut and use in vases, and are long lasting. The history of the flower is long, with the earliest Western mention of the plant recorded in 1570, according to Stanford Dahlia Project website. Many older varieties of dahlia are popular with modern gardeners, due to their beauty, grace, fragrance, colours and forms.
Bishop of Llandaff
According to Old House Journal, Bishop of Llandaff, introduced in 1927, was one of the first heirloom dahlias to be rediscovered by modern gardeners. With burgundy-bronze foliage and scarlet flowers ringed by vivid yellow stamen, this prize winning heirloom dahlia has been featured at several botanical gardens, including Waves Hill and Heronswood, according to Old House Gardens website. The blooms of Bishop of Llandaff are 3 to 4 inches in diameter, with a plant height of 2 to 3 feet.
According to Fine Gardening website, Jersey Beauty is considered the 20th century's most celebrated variety of dahlia. In 1922, it received an American Dahlia Society score of 98, the highest ever, according to Old House Gardens website. It was introduced for commerce in 1923. Growing to a height of 6 to 7 feet, this vigorous dahlia produces abundant 4- to 6-inch diameter pink blossoms.
Thomas A. Edison
Blossoms of Thomas A. Edison dahlia, named for the inventor, have a rich purple colour that deepens toward the centre of the blossom. The flowers grow 6 to 8 inches in diameter, and the plant reaches a height of 4 to 6 feet, making it a showy addition to any garden. This variety of dahlia was introduced in 1929.
Featuring pinwheel-like red and white striped blossoms, the Union Jack dahlia is one of the world's oldest varieties of dahlias. The Stanford University Dahlia Project website notes it as being registered in 1911 in England, although some sources state it was registered as early as 1882. The flowers of Union Jack are 3 inches in diameter, and it grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet.
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