Long after the trend of the tulips in the 1600s the craze of the beautiful flower dahlia came to light. These stunning blooms came to fame in the 1800s. Would you have guessed that long before being fawned over as an ornamental, these flowers were actually first commonly cultivated as a vegetable? Bet you didn’t!
And, who would have guessed that the multitude of tiny petals of this flower holds a very admirable and unique flower meaning and symbolism? Dahlia is the perfect flower to have in your garden.
It comes in a wide variety of colors and each has its own unique meaning. Each different color symbolizes emotion such as yellow for happiness, black for sadness, and pink for daintiness. Other colors such as white, red, and purple each means gratitude, strength, and royalty. Lastly, a green or blue dahlia represents change and a fresh start but an orange one stands for warning.
History of Dahlia Flowers
The Aztecs were the first to cultivate and utilize the wonders of the lovely blooms of dahlias. Upon discovering this, the Spanish were the first to debut these dazzling dahlias in Great Britain in 1798. Not long after, the dahlia craze came to fame in the mid-1800s!
The dahlias were first botanically described as flowering plants with multi layered petals and tuberous roots in 1835. It is an annual or perennial (depending on species) composite herb native to Mexico. It can be abundantly found in the mountainous valleys of Mexico and Central America as well as in South America.
The flower is a family member of the genus name Dahlia of the Aster or Asteraceae family. It’s the same family as the sunflowers. Only about 40 species are known today and a lucky six of these species are used for breeding to produce more cultivars of those gorgeous showy and colorful floral whole head of flowers!
The dahlia got its name after 18th century Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl, a former student of Carl Linnaeus. The flower was then given to madrid Antonio José Cavanilles who was the director and a botanist of the Royal Gardens.
Dahlias are summer blooming flowers that start blooming mid summer. It grows best in mild weather and can withstand harsh conditions. Gardeners refer to this as the tough flower in the garden.
There are two most popular species of the dahlias used for breeding. These include the common Dahlias (Dahlia bipinnata) and the red Dahlia (Dahlia coccinea). The new cultivars in bloom have ray-like petals in bright and beautiful colors! One new cultivar includes the Ball dahlias.
Symbolism of Dahlia Blossoms
Dahlias have a different symbolism depending on the flower color and history. These beautiful flowers have their own symbolic meaning but these vivid flowers symbolize elegance and represent diversity.
The dahlia symbolism and its flower symbolism reflects a big change or a positive change. Some positive changes symbolize elegance inner strength.
Dahlias are the prized flowers of the Mexicans. It’s no wonder these are also the national flower and official flower of the country! In the Aztec era, these blossoms were also the glorified solar symbol of the universe worn only by emperor Montezuma and nobles.
In some beliefs, the flowers were used as a symbol marked on graves of a cherished companion. Practicing this is symbolic of the long-lasting relationship between two people even beyond the grave!
For the beliefs of many Europeans, the flowers were indicative of the instability of perfect beauty. Since this flower was first introduced during the first year of the French revolution, its marvelous beauty was lost and appeared again only during the time of Napoleon! Hence the loss of beauty in times of revolt.
Now tuning in to the flower itself. According to some folk, the Dahlias symbolize sterile abundance. Wondering why? Well, it is simply because of its numerous colorful petals yet no fragrance! Simply just a little haughtiness!
Meaning of Dahlia Flowers
Dahlia flowers hold special symbolic meanings to it making it such a popular flower. The etymological meaning of the dahlia is all about devotion, love, and beauty. Other dahlia flower meaning include inner strength and bravery.
The dahlia means more than just strength and bravery, it also has a few negative meanings or negative emotions behind it. Dahlia colors play a big role in its own dark hidden dahlia flower meanings.
The dahlias are also known as the Queen of the Autumn Garden. It was named as such because the blooms remain beautiful until far days of the season. This beautiful period of blossom indicates eternal love and loyal commitment.
Surprisingly, the blossoms also convey the meaning of you having good taste just like most beautiful flowers do. It comes in full colors or in different colored stripes. Here are some different dahlia flower colors and the hidden meanings behind it.
What does a White Dahlia Flower Mean?
Most white flowers represent purity meanwhile white dahlias mean gratitude. With the abundance of petals in a single flower, this also means a bountiful blessing and can symbolize purity.
What does a Red Dahlia Flower Symbolize?
Red is daring and mischievous and can also have a few negative connotations. In the language of flowers, red dahlias that had a burgundy color symbolize an illicit affair and the wariness of danger nearby.
A red dahlia also represents strength and power and often embodies the person receiving it.
What does a Yellow Dahlia Flower Indicate?
A yellow crane flower is just as happy as it can be! Well, this indicates that you are happy that someone loves you! A secret admirer perhaps?
What does a Pink Dahlia Flower Represent?
Pink dahlias represent daintiness and intricacy. Color pink dahlias are no exception as these represent simple elegance and timeless feminine beauty.
What does a Purple Dahlia Flower Symbolize?
Purple dahlias symbolizes dignity and integrity. Not surprisingly, purple dahlias represent royalty as well as unquestionable loyalty and commitment. Since purple dahlias symbolize royalty, it can also represent kindness and grace especially during challenging situations.
What does an Orange Dahlia Flower Mean?
Orange Dahlias serve as a warning. These blooms indicate possible danger and to take caution around immediate surroundings!
What does a Green Dahlia Flower Represent?
Green dahlias are very special because they symbolize change and fresh starts.
What does a Black Dahlia Flower Symbolize?
Black dahlias are flowers to be aware of and you should think twice before sending flowers of this color. It has a dark symbolism of betrayal and sadness.
What does a Blue Dahlia Flower Mean?
Pure blue dahlias have almost the same meaning as a green one. It symbolizes a fresh start or new beginnings.
What is the Cultural Significance of Dahlia Flowers?
In European cultural history, the Dahlias were used as an alternative food source during the French potato crop famine. It was also called the valley flower because the flowers commonly grew in vast valleys. Amidst the famine, the French believed that the flowers are symbols of freshness and novelty.
Meanwhile, the folk during both the Edwardian and Victorian era remember the flowers quite differently. It symbolized a lasting bond and lifelong commitment for couples which in the mid-1800s was the talk of the town! Everyone from any social status just had to have them!
The trend began in the 1840s in the United Kingdom and the United States garnering the first Great Exhibition in London in 1851. During this time, demands for new cultivars were skyrocketing and were esteemed as social symbols of status and wealth. It was a grand gesture for wealthy brides to use Dahlias in their bouquets. They believed it symbolized not only wealth but also longevity and commitment.
Traditional Mexicans addressed dahlias as chichipatl meaning the crane flower or acacotli. It was believed to be a new religion symbol for the ancient Mayans. It also means the water crane because the stems were long like a crane’s leg! These long stems are actually filled with large amounts of water.
What is the Spiritual Influence of Dahlia Blooms?
The floral essence of dahlias has a powerful spiritual influence. It emits a positive energy with good fortune on the way. This essence can help deal with mental struggles of depression in a positive way by activating and releasing stagnant energy caused by fear.
It eases feelings of grief and enhances healing and creative expression. The dried petals placed under pillows can help in subconscious dreaming and sleep. It also aids in helping to remember and activate the wisdom and magic in our past memories.
What does a Dahlia Floral Tattoo Symbolize?
The choice of a dahlia tattoo is for the refined and timeless few. Refined and timeless not in the sense of wealth or social status, but of the heart and spirit. Dahlia tattoos are symbolic of eternal love, dignity, and bountiful life blessings. Choose this design if you have a lot to be grateful for in life!
Uses of Dahlias
Dahlias are great garden plants and are the perfect gift for your loved ones or special someone. If you’d like to keep your dahlias in a vase, it’s best to use warm water to keep them in. In modern times and political science, dahlias are now available to buy online and even have its own Amazon associates program without adding that extra cost.
Before being cultivated as a garden or potted plants and cut flowers in bouquets or vases, the dahlias were used as an alternative root vegetable during the French potato famine. The tubers were also a popular food staple! Many say it tastes similar to a Jerusalem artichoke and can be cooked and eaten like any regular potato.
Meanwhile, the flowers make a great garnish on many salads and dishes. Many recipes add this dainty blossom onto milk creams, cheeses, and dips! The Dahlia dip with Dahlia bread is said to be best with sundried tomatoes!
Native Aztec and Mexican tribes would also practice crushing the petals into a poultice as remedies for insect bites and stings. Other interesting medicinal purposes of the dahlia is how atlantic starch or diabetic sugar was made from dahlia tubers and was used as an alternative to insulin.
In traditional Mexican medicine, the plants contained a sugar compound called inulin. This sugar compound was actually first used to treat diabetes before the discovery of insulin in 1921. A word of caution is that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.
Up next: How to grow dahlias
~ image source: depositphotos/Mehaniq