The showy, bright dahlia is a dramatic addition to any flower arrangement, bouquet or centerpiece. Complex and beautiful, cactus dahlias quite literally resemble bursting fireworks during a celebration. Smaller pompon dahlias can bring intense color and appeal to any flower gift or arrangement.
While dahlias are fairly prevalent around the world now, this wasn’t always the case. Dahlias date back to 1500s Mexico when the Aztec Empire was still in existence. Mexico City had been controlled by Spanish conquistadors after overtaking ruler Montezuma.
Juannes Badianus, an Aztec student, wrote a treatise on the plants of the area. It is translated into Latin by his schoolmate Martinus de la Cruz and becomes the first New World botanical document about medicinal plants. The dahlia is one of the plants featured in the treatise.
Dahlias in Europe
One hundred years later, King Philip II of Spain commissions another book on New World medicinal plants. The Rerum Medicarum contains detailed information and illustrations on dahlias, noting unique double layers of petals in some cultivated varieties (original dahlias were all single-petaled.)
By the late 1700s, dahlias are being more actively cultivated in Spain, and in the 1800s interest begins to grow throughout Europe for New World plants. By the year 1934, there are over 14,000 recognized cultivars of dahlia around the world.
Dahlia Meaning and Symbolism
The dahlia is considered a vibrant, zesty flower that can symbolize strong emotion and a bit of a wild side. They can also indicate change, upcoming travel, and an exciting new chapter about to unfold in one’s life. Give dahlia to anyone with a bit of a wild side, or to someone who would do well to get in touch with that part of themselves.
Dahlias also look amazing in combination with other flowers for a more balanced and subdued effect. The Autumn Embrace arrangement combines dahlias with soft purple calla lilies, roses and white hydrangea in a glass cube with smooth river rocks. The effect is an ideal balancing of dahlia’s spicy energy.
The dahlia’s origin country of Mexico considers it their national flower, and the flowers still grow wild on many mountainsides as it did centuries ago. However, the dahlia is now widely enjoyed in Europe, the U.S. and around the world in gardens and bouquets, centerpieces and autumn flower arrangements.
Contact Curran Brothers Florist for more exciting flower gift ideas.