Different Dahlia Flower Types and Varieties
There are many types of Dahlias whose flower heads range in size from a couple of inches in diameter to the size of a dinner plate.
The flower heads also come in a surprising range of shapes from ball-like shapes to star shaped and everything in between.
So if you are looking for one flower that can provide you with a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors then dahlias would be the flower that most gardeners would choose.
Dahlias can also range in height from under a foot tall to up to 6 feet tall depending on the variety and every color in the rainbow.
They have long growing and long flowering seasons so that you can enjoy these flowers for several months once they bloom.
Dahlias are winter hardy perennials in zones 8 through 11, less winter hardy in zones 6 and 7 and planted as annuals in cooler climates. Hence these flowers capable of being grown almost anywhere.
These flowers are easy to grow both in the garden and in containers and many make excellent cut flowers for bouquets and vases.
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7 Different Types of Dahlia and the Various Varieties Within
#1. Formal Decorative Dahlias
Formal decorative dahlias are double blooms with evenly spaced petals that curve slightly backwards from the stem. The petals’ edges may roll slightly inward (known as partially involute) or slightly outwards (known as partially revolute).
These flowers grow as perennials in zones 8 through 11 and as annuals in zones 2 through 7.
Formal decorative dahlias prefer full sun and moist well-drained soil blooming between mid and late July up until the frost comes. And they make beautiful vase and bouquet arrangements.
Here are a few varieties of formal decorative dahlias:
- April Dawn – This eye catching formal decorative dahlia features white and pale lilac blooms with purple at the tips. The flowers are 6 to 8 inches wide and stands 4 to 6 feet tall
- Eveline – These snowy white flowers have lavender edges and sits on long upright stems and the flowers themselves are 4 to 6 inches wide.
- David Howard – This stunning orange flower has dark purplish bronze foliage with the flower head being 4 inches wide and 2 to 3 feet high.
- Hillcrest Firecrest – These are medium sized bicolor bright yellow flowers with red tips. The flower heads are 4 to 6 inches wide and 3 to 4 feet tall. This formal decorative dahlia blooms in the fall.
#2. Cactus and Semi-Cactus Dahlias
Cactus and semi cactus dahlias are double flowers with long petals that roll back for ½ their length giving the petals a star-like look.
The flower heads sit atop sturdy green stems allowing these flowers to withstand wind and rain despite being rather tall flowers. These dahlias are perennials in zones 8 through 11 and annuals in zones 2 through 7.
The Cactus and semi-cactus dahlias prefer full sun and moist well-drained soil. These flowers bloom from mid-summer through the first frost. They are also highly attractive to butterflies.
Here are a few of the cactus and semi cactus dahlia varieties::
- Alfred Grille – These flowers have salmon pink petals that blend into gold or yellow centers. The flower heads are 6 to 8 inches across and grow to be about 3 to 4 feet tall.
- American Dream – This flower features 8 to 10 inches wide pink flowers with very thin raspberry stripes. The American Dream dahlia grows to be 3 to 4 feet tall.
- Bridge View Dahlia – These dahlias feature golden yellow petals with scarlet tips giving the flower the look of a ray of sunshine. The petals of this flower are velvety and the flower heads are about 8 inches wide. This flower can reach heights of 4 to 5 feet tall.
- My Love – This semi-cactus dahlia has creamy white petals radiating out from a greenish/yellow center. The flower head is 6 inches wide and grows to be 3 to 4 feet tall.
#3. Ball Dahlia
Ball Dahlias are stunning flower that are spherical in shape although some may have a slightly flattened face. Their double blossom flowers grow in a spiral pattern and may have indented, blunt or rounded tips that curl inward.
The Ball Dahlias grow as perennials in zones 8 through 11 and annuals in zones 2 through 7. These flowers prefer to grow in full sun and moist well-drained soil and bloom from July until the frost, usually in October.
There are also dwarf or miniature varieties of ball dahlias. These flowers make stunning additions to any flower arrangements and look great in your flower garden or when grown in a container.
Some varieties of ball dahlias include:
- Amy Cave – This features 6 inch flower heads with reddish purple petals forming concentric circles. It stands 3 to 4 feet tall.
- Franz Kafka – This dahlia features 3-inch dark pink pompom shaped flower heads arranged in a honeycomb pattern. The flowers themselves are a little less than 3 feet high.
- Aurora’s Kiss – This is a dark red miniature ball dahlia with a flower head of about 4 inch wide. This flower stands 3 to 4 feet high on erect green stems.
#4. Waterlily Dahlia
The waterlily dahlia has full double features broad sparse ray-like florets, which are straight and turned slightly inward along their length, making these flowers look-like waterlilies.
These dahlias are perennial in zones 8 through 11 and as annuals in zones 2 through 7. They prefer full sun and moist well-drained soil. These beautiful flowers bloom from mid-summer through the fall.
Here are just a few varieties of waterlily dahlias
- Apricot Desire – This dahlia has softly apricot colored petals that blend into a pale yellow near the base of each petal. The heads of these flowers are between 4 and 6 inches wide standing out nicely against the dark green foliage and sturdy stems. These flowers grow to be between 3 and 4 feet tall.
- Caballero – The stunning Caballero waterlily dahlia features broad red petals edged in bright yellow with a yellow center making these flowers really stand out. The flower heads are between 4 and 6 inches wide and the plant itself stands 4 feet tall.
- Priceless Pink – The priceless pink waterlily is a profusion of miniature flowers with white petals edged in an eye-catching violet/pink. The flower heads are 2 to 3 inches wide and stands 2 to 3 feet tall.
#5. Collarette Dahlia
The Collarette dahlia almost looks like a work of art, so exquisitely are these flowers formed.
This Dahlia features a single row of flat or slightly curved petals that surround an open center. Within the ray of petals is a wreath of shorter petals that are normally in different colors than the outer petals.
These flowers are perennials in zones 8 through 11 and annuals in zones 2 through 7. These dahlias prefer to be grown in full sun and moist well-drained soil. They bloom from mid-summer until the frost comes.
Some of the varieties of the Collarette dahlia include:
- Night Butterfly – This dahlia features bright red outer petals surrounding a ring of pink streaked white petals. The head of the Night butterfly dahlia ranges between 2 and 4 inches and reaches a height of 3 feet.
- Garden Show – This flower features flat pale pink petals with raspberry streaks with yellow florets that form the center of the flower. The flower head is between 3 and 4 inches wide with the flower itself standing 3 feet tall.
- Pooh Dahlia – The Pooh dahlia has between 3 and 4-inch bright yellow petals surrounding shorter orange petals. This flower grows between 3 and 4 feet tall.
#6. Single Dahlias
Single Dahlias consist of a row of flat or slightly cupped petals that are arranged with no gaps between the petals. The flower heads are 2 inches wide.
These flowers are perennials in zones 8 through 11 and annuals in zones 2 through 7. Single Dahlias prefer moist well-drained soil and bloom from mid to late summer through the first frost.
A few varieties of single dahlias include:
- Happy Single First Love – These single dahlias feature apricot flowers with a small red ring that surrounds the brown center. The flower heads are 4 inches wide. This flower reaches a height of 2 feet.
- Happy Single Wink – This single dahlia features 4-inch velvety lilac flowers with reddish purple center. These flowers stand a little less than 3 feet tall.
#7. Orchid Dahlia
Orchid dahlias may either be single or double flowers that surround a central disc. Part of each petal turns partially inward and part of the petal turns fully inward. These flowers normally have 8 petals.
The orchid dahlia is a perennial when planted in zones 8 through 11 and an annual when planted in zones 2 through 7.
These flowers prefer full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil. The Orchid dahlia blooms from July through October.
A few varieties of orchid dahlias include:
- Honka Red Orchid Dahlia – The red petals of this flower form a star shape around the yellow center. This flower grows to be 2 to 2 ½ feet tall.
- Honka Fragile – This 2 to 2 ½ foot dahlia is white with almost complete white petals with a thin red margin.
- Jescot Julie – This 6-inch orange flower with a darker underside adds a dramatic touch to your flower garden or container. The Jescot Julie stands about 4 feet tall.
Final Thoughts on the Different Types of Dahlia Flowers
The seven types of Dahlias discussed above are just a few of the many different types that you can plant. Keep in mind that within each type of Dahlia there are several varieties to choose from.