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Dahlias: Lost Forever?

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NELLIE BROOMHEAD, 1897

When a Japanese dahlia collector offered us this rare jewel, we were thrilled. Much like the old ‘Seven Sisters’ rose, it blooms with flowers ranging from almost white to vibrant rosy lavender. Praised and pictured in Gordon’s 1912 Dahlias, it’s the only one of hundreds in that classic book that still survives – and we have just 50 available this spring! Pompon, 3-4’. Last offered in 2016. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again sometime in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


NEPOS, 1958Rarest

It may not be flashy or ancient, but this sublimely simple waterlily dahlia is one of the most beautiful flowers we’ve ever grown – yes, ever. Bred by the Lombaert brothers of Belgium, it’s a baby-fresh masterpiece of pink, white, and lavender, on a plant that’s not too tall, with wiry stems that practically beg you to cut them for bouquets. 4-6”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant. Last offered in 2015. We’re building up stock and plan to offer it again sometime in the future. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


NUTLEY SUNRISE, 1957

This big, sprawling, high-spirited flower throws its petals out and about as if caught up in an ecstatic dance. Molten gold in the center, its petals are richly shaded with pink, apricot, and orange. Though we rarely offer dahlias this young, our very picky crew gave it a dozen green thumbs-up. 6-8” 4-5’, from Oregon. Last offered in spring 2012. Available elsewhere.


ORANGE PRINCESS, 1942

Perfect for perennial borders, this compact, apricot beauty is so packed with blossoms the whole plant looks like it was arranged by a floral designer. A long-time favorite in France, it grows about three feet tall and blooms exuberantly summer and fall with informal, 3-4 inch cactus flowers of apricot shading to fuzzy golden centers. The more you pick, the more it blooms! From Oregon. Last offered in spring 2006. Available elsewhere.


PARI TAHA SUNRISE, 1957

Hot and bright, this dazzling dahlia is the garden equivalent of those Fourth of July sparklers you loved as a kid. Its petals are exclamation points of brilliant yellow flamed with red. Bred in New Zealand, its Maori name means “cliff’s-edge sunrise.” 4-6” 4’, from Oregon. Last offered in spring 2006. Available elsewhere.


POPULAR GUEST, 1957

Fringed dahlias like this glamorous lavender beauty are called “laciniated” in the US, “fimbriated” in England, but the French say it best: dentelle or lace-work dahlias. They first came into vogue in the ‘50s, and ‘Popular Guest’ – with its echoes of Sputnik lamps and starburst Formica – has a mid-century vibe that’s enduringly cool. 4-6”, 4-5’, from Holland. Last offered in 2016. Available elsewhere.


PRINCESSE LOUISE DE SUEDE, 1947

Chic, sophisticated ‘Princess Louise of Sweden’ offers 4-inch flowers of a tantalizing color that’s hard to describe: maybe frosted coral? It’s not orange, not pink, not rose, but if you blended all three together and added a bit of mist, you’d be close. For added elegance, its petal tips seem dipped in silver, more on some flowers, less on others. Very cool! 4 inches, 4 feet, from Holland. Last offered in 2016, and we’re not planning to offer it again.


PRINSES BEATRIX, 1939

Improbably beautiful, ‘Prinses B’ combines unusual colors in dramatic flowers that we get all ga-ga about here. Opening golden-orange tipped white with peachy centers, they mature to pale, pale pink edged with orange-gold. Though it may sound weird, it’s oh-my-gosh lovely. Our photo can only hint at it! 4-5” 4-5’, from Oregon. Last offered in spring 2004. We’ve lost our entire stock but we hope to offer it again someday.


PRINZESSIN IRENE VON PREUSSEN, 1912

We rediscovered ‘Prinzessin Irene’ in Germany and fell in love at first bloom. With a heart of gold and fewer, longer petals than most modern dahlias, it has a serene, languid look that’s charmingly antique. Try it paired with soul-mate ‘Jersey’s Beauty’ – ahhhhh! Formal decorative, 4-5”, 4-5’, from Holland. Last offered in 2016 and we’re not planning to offer it again. Sorry!


PROMISE, 1959

This frilled, award-winning, mid-century classic is a soft pastel yellow that has great carrying power in the garden. It’s also a fine flower for bouquets, where its delicately fringed tips make for an almost sparkling effect. It’s strong growing and floriferous, with 4-5” laciniated flowers on 4-5’ plants, from Holland. Last offered in spring 2013. We hope to offer it again someday.


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