Dahlia is a genus of flowering plants related to chrysanthemums, sunflowers, daisies, and zinnias.
Native to Central America and Mexico, and the national flower of Mexico, dahlias are incredibly popular for their impressive coloration and showy blooms. Plus, their lack of scent makes them ideal for those with allergies.
With 49 species within the genus, it’s no surprise that even some of the most passionate gardeners won’t know of all the dahlia available. Some dahlias will reach heights of 4 feet, while others are best suited for smaller gardens.
So, if you’re looking for a new dahlia for your garden, or maybe just to expand your knowledge of the beloved flower, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 10 beautiful types of dahlia flowers you may not have seen!
Dahlia “Promise” is an attractive bushy cultivar that blooms in summer and fall. This tuberous perennial consists of dark green foliage and strong stems, bearing a pale yellow flower on top.
This is a clump-forming and bushy flower that looks like a relaxed version of a pompom.
As a pastel yellow flower, it’s not often the showstopper in a flower bed, which is why the Promise dahlia is often used as a complimentary flower. Alternatively, it works well as a cut flower in a bouquet.
The fringed tips of the petals make the flower appear like a firework.
This cultivar is best grown in full sun, sheltered from harsh winds, and in well-drained moist soil. They can grow up to and over 1 meter tall, and given the size of the flower head, you might need to stake some of the heavier flowers.
This is a showy perennial cultivar that is believed to be over 120 years old. Everything about the Tommy Keith dahlia feels like a piece of history, particularly the large pompom structure of the flower itself.
The densely-packed curved petals are predominantly reddish-purple with splashes of white, appearing like a piece of fascinating jewelry.
Odds are, you probably don’t have a flower like this in your garden. It’s not a particularly large dahlia, so it works well to embed a splash of crimson into your flower bed.
It will need exposure to sunlight and some shelter to protect the flower from harsh winds.
Thanks to the bright coloration of the Tommy Keith dahlia, this flower also works to encourage pollinating wildlife into your backyard. You’ll likely see bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds more often.
The dahlia “Yellow Gem” is a remarkable little flower. This cultivar has almost perfect symmetry, with the tightly packed, curved petals surrounding the center in a near-perfect dome shape.
From afar, it barely looks like a flower, and instead looks like a man-made bright garden light.
This is why the Yellow Gem is regarded as one of the most special dahlia cultivars. Unfortunately, the Oregon-native flower is not all that easy to find.
They’re also prone to damage from high winds due to their 3-foot height, so keep that in mind when looking to grow a perfectly symmetrical Yellow Gem.
The biggest downside to this cultivar is that it typically carries Dahlia Mosaic Virus, which is a common dahlia virus that affects yellowing in the leaves. Still, the virus doesn’t impact the health of the plant, it’s just something to keep in mind.
You’ll struggle to find a more fascinating dahlia than the Tsuki Yori No Shisha. Unique in appearance and name, this dahlia cultivar translates to “Messenger from the Moon”, which is the title of a famous Japanese novel.
The name was given to the cultivar due to the flower’s resemblance to a shining full moon.
This flower features a mass of feathery petals that are curved at the edges to create a shaggy look.
While it’s only a simple white flower, the structure of the petals makes for an effortlessly cool appearance that looks wonderful in a garden or a flower bouquet.
Interestingly, this is a late blooming dahlia, as the flowers tend to bloom from fall to the first frost. This is ideal for those who want to extend the lifespan of their garden throughout the year.
Just make sure to deadhead the flowers regularly to promote more growth.
One of the smaller cultivars of dahlia is dahlia “Roxy”, which stands at a maximum of 2 feet tall. This dainty little flower is also a single flowering plant, unlike other dahlias, which are usually double flowering.
Instead, Roxy is a simple and understated dahlia that is great for filling in empty spaces of a flower border.
This is an unusually vibrant dahlia, consisting of bright magenta petals that create a stark contrast with the yellow center.
It’s a fairly late blooming flower, with the petals appearing from summer through to late fall, allowing for a striking burst of vivid color throughout the latter part of the year.
As all dahlia flowers are edible, the petals of the Roxy dahlia are popularly used as a garnish over salads to add a burst of color.
With such a royal name comes an equally royal appearance. The Princess Beatrix dahlia cultivar is nothing short of beautiful, with its stunningly symmetrical structure and sunset-colored petals. Fit for a princess!
These decorative flowers are purple in the middle, before gradually fading into a yellow and then orange-pink hue. Because of their breathtaking colors, these flowers are popularly used in cut floral arrangements as well as flower beds.
When growing the Princess Beatrix dahlia in your backyard, it will require well-draining soil, full sunlight or some partial shade in the afternoon, and some shelter to protect the delicate petals from harsh winds.
A brightly colored and unique dahlia, the Honka Rose is certainly an eye-catching dahlia cultivar. The Honka Rose features long, rolled petals in a pinwheel structure, making the flower appear like a spinning windmill in your garden.
The petals are pink and white, though they can come in other colors, including orange and even black.
Not only do these interesting dahlias capture the attention of humans, but they’re also great for bringing pollinating wildlife into your backyard. These flowers will encourage butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds to take a visit.
As with almost every dahlia, this cultivar is easy to grow and cut into a floral arrangement. They need well-drained soil, full to partial sunlight, and some shelter to protect the gentle petals from harsh winds.
Another large dahlia cultivar, the Nutley Sunrise is certain to brighten up your flower borders. With a diameter of 6-8”, these flowers are great for providing some dimension in your garden or floral arrangement.
This is a showy cultivar consisting of long, rolled petals that burst out from the center of the flower. The petals curve up towards the end, making the flower appear like it’s been electrocuted. As the name suggests, the colors resemble a sunrise.
This cultivar likes to grow in full sun (which is also great for showing off those wonderful colors), well-drained soil, and doesn’t necessarily need shelter for protection.
9. Dahlia “Lindsay Michelle”
Another dahlia cultivar that looks like it’s constantly spinning is the Lindsay Michelle. Nothing about this flower is subtle, from the linear pointed petals arranged in an explosive structure to the vibrant crimson red coloration.
The way the petals fade from pastel yellow to pinkish-red make it a true masterpiece.
When you look closely at the petals, they taper off into several points at the end. As a result, the flower looks permanently feathered and ruffled, making it a true explosion of color and fun.
It’s certainly an eye-catching addition to a flower bed or arrangement.
As with most dahlias, this is a low-maintenance cultivar that thrives in full sunlight, well-drained soil, and some cover during the winter months. In some cases, it may need shelter from harsh winds to keep the petals safe.
Lastly, we couldn’t miss out on the stunning Karma Choc. This cultivar often counts as a black flower, though it is technically a very dark red.
It’s a dense dahlia complete with dramatic dark plum petals, making for a striking and romantic addition to a floral arrangement.
While these flowers are typically bred and cut for arrangements, they can be planted into a flower bed. They will bloom from summer to the first frost, and grow best in full sun (though it is tolerant of partial shade).
While a hardy flower, it requires shelter to protect the flower from harsh winds and hot afternoons.
Despite how dense the petals are, this isn’t a particularly heavy flower, as it doesn’t contain too much water. So, you don’t have to worry about the stems breaking or the flower drooping.
So, there you have it! Dahlias are a beloved genus amongst gardeners, and hopefully this list has taught you about some types of dahlia that you didn’t know about before.