Understanding dahlia groups

Posted in All Gardening Advice, Bulbs, March, April, Dahlias, on

Below is a list of the different dahlia groups, along with some classification info and an example of a variety in each group. Classification of dahlias is rather complicated, as there are over 50,000 different varieties of dahlias available hybridised all over the globe by different growers. So you'll find that different websites list things in slightly different ways; we've listed the main groups below and then the smaller groups under Miscellaneous.

Single-flowered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dahlia 'Roxy'

The flower has a central disc with a single ring of petals encircling it. The petals may be rounded or pointed. 

e.g. Dahlia 'Roxy'. See all of our Single-flowered dahlias here.

Waterlily                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dahlia 'Gerrie Hoek'

This type has fully double blooms made up of curved, slightly curved or flat petals and is very shallow in depth compared with other dahlias giving an almost saucer like appearance.

e.g. Dahlia 'Gerrie Hoek'. See all of our Waterlily dahlias here.

Collerette                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Dahlia 'Night Butterfly'

This type has large petals which form an outer circle around a central disc. The collar term comes from a smaller circle of much smaller petals closer to the centre.

e.g. Dahlia 'Night Butterfly'. See all of our Collerette dahlias here.

Anemone                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Dahlia 'Sarah Raven'

The centre comprises of dense elongated tubes rather than a disc. The outer parts have one or more rings of flattened petals.

e.g. Dahlia 'Sarah Raven'. See all of our Anemone dahlias here.

Pompom                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Dahlia 'Vino'

These are fully double and resemble perfect miniature spheres. They are made up entirely from petals that are curved inwards.

e.g. Dahlia 'Vino'. See all of our Pompom dahlias here.

Ball                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dahlia 'Linda's Baby'

These are larger than pompoms and have a spiral arrangement of incurved petals forming a ball shaped flower.

e.g. Dahlia 'Linda's Baby'. See all of our Ball dahlias here.

Semi-cactus                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Dahlia 'Indian Summer'

These have fully double blooms; with very pointed petals, almost spiky in appearance.

e.g. Dahlia 'Indian Summer'. See all of our Semi-cactus dahlias here.

Cactus                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Dahlia 'Hillcrest Royal'

Similar to semi-cactus, but with narrower petals. This also includes Fimbriated Cactus dahlias.

e.g. Dahlia 'Hillcrest Royal'. See all of our Cactus dahlias here.

Decorative                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Dahlia 'Con Amore'

Broad and flat petals, normally bluntly pointed, with no central disc showing.

e.g. Dahlia 'Con Amore'. See all of our Decorative dahlias here.

Miscellaneous                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dahlia 'Julie One'

Orchid-flowered and Peony-flowered types are classified as miscellaneous. Also, Double Orchid-flowered, Bishop, Mini Bishop and Star Dahlias.

e.g. Dahlia 'Julie One' (Double Orchid). See all of our Miscellaneous dahlias here.

Browse our full range of dahlia tubers. Each individual variety will state the Group it is in under the 'More Details' section.

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