Friday, December 18, 2009

The Black foliage Dahlia

Dahlia x hybrida 'Bishop of Llandaff' with silver Helichrysum petiolare

Dahlia x hybrida 'Yellow Hammer'

I always associate black Dahlias with the James Ellroy novel and film noir movie of the same name........... a spine tingling murder mystery and a real page turner. These Dahlias are striking in the summer garden and make a great contrast with lighter coloured foliage plants. They are low growing and compact and form a neat bush to around 60cm. Flowering continues for many months and removing spent flowers helps prolong blooming. In mild climates Dahlias can be left in the ground for years but the usual practise is to lift the tubers and store them in dry sand over winter ready for Spring planting. They have few pests but snails and slugs may damage newly merging leaves.

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