THE LEGEND OF DAHLIAS
How a handful of tubers crossed the Atlantic in a ship’s hold and changed flower history.
Centuries ago, a few species of dahlia grew wild in Mexico. (Aztecs used them for food and medicine.) In 1789, botanists sent dahlia tubers to the Royal Gardens of Madrid for scientific study. Two centuries of eager hybridization later, gardeners can choose from some 50,000 varieties—and they all descend from those original Mexican ancestors.
great clips The more you harvest, the more dahlias bloom, so fill vases and deadhead often. Avoid cutting under midday sun.