Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dahlia variabilis The Dahlia

The Dahlia was named after the Swedish botanist Dr Dahl, so it is fitting to give this popular and colourful flower a mention right now in light of the announcement of the engagement of Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria ,the 31 year old daughter of King Carl Gustaf XVI and Queen Silivia, and heir to the Swedish throne.
 She plans to marry her fitness instructor Daniel Westling,35, who will be known as Prince Daniel, Duke of Vaestergoetland. .................A good news story at last!
The Dahlia comes into its own around now and continues to bloom all through autumn. It is a popular flower for display at horticultural shows and competition is always fierce between growers
The photos below were taken at such a show here in Wollongong.

Being a native of Mexico/Central America ,the Dahlia does well in warm climates but is successful in cold climates as the plant is normally grown from underground tubers which can be lifted and stored dry in a box of sawdust or sand over the winter months for replanting the following spring.
The following poem was written by an English enthusiast in praise of the Dahlia.
Though severed from its native clime,
Whose skies are ever bright and clear
And nature's face is all sublime
And beauty clothes the fragrant air,
The Dahlia will each glory wear,
With tints as bright and leaves as green;
And winter,in his savage mien
May breathe forth storms,yet she will bear
With all: and in the Summer ray
With blossoms deck the brow of day.

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