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

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

e.g. Dahlia 'Juliet'

Waterlily

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'

Collerette

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'

Anemone

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 'Mambo'

Pompon

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

e.g. Dahlia 'Gillwood Violet'

Ball

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

e.g. Dahlia 'New Baby'

Semi-cactus

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

e.g. Dahlia 'Chat Noir'

Cactus

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

e.g. Dahlia 'White Star'

Decorative

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

e.g. Dahlia 'Con Amore'

Miscellaneous

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

e.g. Dahlia 'Tahoma Moonshot'

Browse our full range of dahlia tubers on our website, on each individual variety it will state the Group it is in under the 

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