The Dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963.
It is a genus of perennial plants with tuberous roots. The dahlia has a flower head that is actually a composite with both central disc florets and surrounding ray florets. The modern name Asteraceae refers to the appearance of a star with surrounding rays.
Dahlias grow naturally in climates which do not experience frost, consequently they are not adapted to withstand sub-zero temperatures. However, their tuberous nature enables them to survive periods of dormancy, and this characteristic means that gardeners in temperate climates with frosts can grow dahlias successfully, provided the tubers are lifted from the ground and stored in cool yet frost-free conditions during the winter.
There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 5 cm in diameter, or up to 30 cm.
There was an exhibition of Dahlias in the Flower Dome, at the Gardens by the Bay at the beginning of the year. I was lucky to be able to find time to go and have a look. I was not disappointed. Here are some of the pictures I took that day.
Unfortunately, I do not know the names of each hybrid.
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