OP Native to Mexico and Central America, the first dahlias were found growing in the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala. Grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, who ate their tubers, they were called acocotli meaning water-cane, as traveling hunters often used their hollow stems for hauling water on their journey. In the 1500’s Spanish conquistadors and their botanists came across these flowers, but 200 years passed before tubers and seeds were sent in 1789, by Vicente Cervantes, Director of the Botanical Garden at Mexico City, to Abbe Antonio José Cavanilles, Director of the Royal Gardens of Madrid. Cavanilles grew one plant to maturity that year. In 1791 he called the new plant "Dahlia" for Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist who had recently died. Dahl is a homophone of the Swedish word "dal", or "valley"; although it is not a true translation, the plant is sometimes referred to as the "valley flower". By the early 18th century, European plant breeders had created the first fully double flower forms. In the Asteraceae family, their garden relatives include sunflowers, daisies, chrysanthemums, and zinnias. This is a glorious mix of the variety Showpiece and some “Surprise” tubers given to us by our friend Bridget Scully of Nurture Earth. Showpiece blooms are a WOW factor in the garden with a high percentage of double and semi-double flowers of colours red, purple, creamy orange, white and yellow. With long strong cuttable stems with healthy green foliage, they make an excellent cut flower. Plants also develop tubers which can be divided for ongoing flowering pleasure. Tender perennial, giant blooms, hight 120cm.
Sow into tray in mid spring to late summer. Prick out to 4cm diagonal spacing when true leaves appear. Transplant into permanent garden bed at 30cm diagonal spacing or as you see fit for your garden design.