The story of the dahlia is not as most other flowers since little is known exactly how many different variations of the dahlia there was to begin with. So, from an unknown number of flowers, the dahlia then rocketed up to an unbelievable amount of species and variations and today this beauty can cover an entire garden and never represent a duplicity of any other dahlia. Keep on reading to learn more about the dahlias origin and its history.
The dahlia was originally found by a group of adventurers and soldiers in the 16th century in what was to become Mexico. The plant was most impressive to these foreigners from the Spanish mainland since the dahlia was not only beautiful but also worked as both a source of food and an emergency container of water to the indigenous people. In Europe the dahlia was named by the Spanish Abbé Cavanilles in honour of the botanist Anders Dahl, a student to the world famous Carolus Linnaeus. Although due to a slight misunderstanding, the dahlia was named Georgina in Germany after the botanist Johann Gottlieb Georgi, a name it bears even today.
Around two hundred years after its discovery the first dahlia was taken over the Atlantic and although it adapted well to European soil it did not survive the winters very well. With the development of winterization and greenhouses the dahlia was first tried out as a new source of food but when a new kind of dahlia arrived in the Netherlands in the 19th century botanists truly appreciated what they had in their hands, and the experimenting began. From these two dahlias came all of the dahlias for sale today and although it might seem odd it really is quite a remarkable achievement.
In the terms of genetic biology the dahlia is a marvel - one of the single most interesting discoveries when it comes to flower-loving biologists. While most other flowers only have two genes that affect what the plant will look like the dahlia has eight genes, making it one of the most versatile flower on the market today. Therefore the dahlia can take on lots of different forms, colours and sizes without anyone understanding that the flowers actually are closely related, so closely in fact that they share the same genus.
Even today there are both amateur and professional botanists out there in the world trying to perfect the dahlia or maybe simply creating a new version that they can give their name to. Therefore it can not be very hard to imagine that the dahlia is one of the worlds' most popular garden flowers in our time - there are simply so many different kinds of dahlias that it would take up several football fields if one wanted to plant all of them in one and the same area!