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Dahlias: Lost Forever?

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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.


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.


RADIANCE, 1958

Although soft baby pink when it first opens, this 1950s classic quickly matures into a vivid, vibrant, and vivacious rose-pink highlighted with silver. It somehow manages to combine the sweetness of an 8-year-old girl with the elegance of a night on the town, and it absolutely pops in the garden and bouquets. Cactus, 5-6”, 4-5’, from Holland. Last offered spring 2019. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


RED KAISER WILHELM, 1881?

Glowing like neon, this mutant twin of the great ‘Kaiser Wilhelm’ looks ready for a night of cabaret-hopping. Despite its name, it’s not red but a deep, deep rose on white that’s so vivid it almost buzzes. 3”, 4-5’, from Oregon. Last offered in spring 2013, and we’re not planning to offer it again. Sorry! Our grower may have a few more for us this season.


ROMANCE, 1945

A perfect Valentine’s Day dahlia (if only dahlias bloomed then!), ‘Romance’ has gracefully curving petals of rosy pink tipped with silver and a heart of French vanilla. It’s a great size for bouquets, and exquisite with our ‘Pearl’ double tuberoses. 3-4” 4’, from Oregon. Last offered in 2006. Available elsewhere.


SELLWOOD GLORY, 1951

Dramatic ‘Sellwood Glory’ is an almost black and white ensemble of silvery petals thickly brushed with deep, dark raisin-purple. Though it hails originally from the historic Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, it had all but disappeared from US gardens till we reintroduced it from the British National Collection in 2008. (Read its full story here.) Formal decorative, 8-10”, 3-4’, from Oregon. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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