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Dahlias: Lost Forever?

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KISMET, 1932

Like sand dunes aglow with the rosy light of dawn, the ethereal color of this stunning dahlia is NOT pink (no matter what our photo suggests), NOT bronze (as the ADS classifies it), but wonderfully, shimmeringly, mysteriously both. It blooms like crazy, too, and its form is perfection. No wonder our staff loves it! 6-8” 4-5’, from Oregon. Last offered in 2007 and we’re not planning to offer it again. Sorry!


KLANKSTAD KERKRADE, 1954

No matter how small your garden is, this compact dahlia with its bouquet-sized poofs of soft, primrose yellow will make you glad you planted it. We love its weird name, too. Klankstad means “Sound City” and Kerkrade is the Dutch town that in 1951 launched what has become the world’s greatest band festival. 3-4”, 3-5’, semi-cactus. Last offered in 2016. We are increasing stock and we hope to offer it again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


LAVENGRO, 1953Rarest

This big, romantic dahlia is still winning so many blue ribbons almost 60 years after it was introduced that the ADS rates it a “Cream of the Crop” dahlia. Its unusual name is the title of a wildly popular Victorian travel-adventure about life among the gypsies. (When we tried reading it, we discovered we like the dahlia a lot better.) 6-10”, 4-5’, heat-tolerant. Last offered in 2016. We are increasing stock and we hope to offer it again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


LITTLE BEESWING, 1909Web-Only

In 1997 when we asked in the ADS Bulletin if anyone grew this relic, we heard from just one person, David Murphy. He eventually sent his entire stock to us with a note: “In recognition of your efforts to preserve old dahlias. Their survival now rests in your hands.” Will you help? Lively and cute, ‘Little Beeswing’ produces an abundance of yellow pompons tipped flame-red. It’s a fine keeper, too, so you’ll soon have extras to pass along, as David did. Aka ‘Little Beeswings’, 1-2”, 3-4’, heat-tolerant, from New Hampshire. We plan to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


LOIS WALCHER, 1958

From the British National Collection of Dahlias, this big, poofy, flower has purple petals tipped with white, giving it a festive, almost spotted look. And who was ‘Lois Walcher’? Mr. Walcher bred the flower, so: wife? daughter? mother? sister? Definitely someone special! 5’, from Oregon. Last offered in 2004. We may offer it again someday.


LUTT WICHEN, 1941Rarest

This unusual dwarf could almost be called a ground-cover dahlia. Barely 2 feet tall, it spreads out to make a dense, self-supporting plant 3 feet wide or more – which makes it great for pots, too. Abundant gardenia-like flowers glow against deep green foliage. Its name – often misspelled Leutwitchen – seems to honor Germany’s Little Wichen mountain, but if you can tell us more, please do! Waterlily, 3”, 2-3’. Last offered in 2015. We are increasing stock and we hope to offer it again someday. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MADAME STAPPERS, 1947

Our photos don’t show you the best thing about ‘Madame Simone Stappers’ — it grows as a dense, rounded, all but self-supporting mound about 2½ feet tall that looks more like a small shrub or a peony than a dahlia. With dark-chocolate foliage and radiant blooms, it’s stunning in perennial borders — or try one in a big beautiful pot. 3”, 2½-3’, semi-double. Last offered in 2016 and we’re not planning to offer it again. Sorry!


MATT ARMOUR, 1932

With all the simplicity and charm of ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and ‘Clair de Lune’, this wildflowery dahlia blooms like crazy — and the bees love it! First grown at Ireland’s romantic Glenveagh Castle, it’s named for the man who served there as head gardener for over 50 years. 2-3” 3-4’, from the UK National Collection and now Oregon. Last offered in 2007. We hope to offer it again someday.


MRS. H. BROWN, 1947Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Is this the love-child of the great ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ and luminous ‘Clair de Lune’? Could be! Its abundant flowers are small enough to avoid being garish but brilliant enough — like tiny flames — to add a jolt of excitement to any garden or bouquet. 2-3”, 4-5’, re-introduced by us from the British National Collection, and grown for us now in Oregon. We hope to offer this variety again next spring. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MRS. LE BOUTILLIER, 1934

Big and sensual, that’s ‘Mrs. George le Boutillier’ (pronounce it “Booty-ay,” and don’t laugh). The backs of her lush, deep red petals are elegantly highlighted with gold. Though snooty gardeners may frown, if you give ‘Mrs. B’ a try we bet you’ll be amazed. 6-10”, 4-5’, from Oregon. Last offered in 2013 and we’re not planning to offer it again. Sorry!


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