dahlia

/dal"yeuh, dahl"-/ or, esp. Brit., /dayl"-/, n.
1. any composite plant of the genus Dahlia, native to Mexico and Central America and widely cultivated for its showy, variously colored flower heads.
2. the flower or tuberous root of a dahlia.
3. a pale violet or amethyst color.
adj.
4. of the color dahlia.
[1791; < NL, named after Anders Dahl (d. 1789), Swedish botanist; see -IA]

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Any of the 12–20 species of tuberous-rooted herbaceous plants that make up the genus Dahlia, in the composite family, native to higher elevations of Mexico and Central America.

The leaves of most are segmented and toothed or cut. About six species have been bred for cultivation as ornamental flowers. Wild species have both disk and ray flowers in the flowering heads, but many varieties of ornamentals, such as the common garden dahlia (D. bipinnata), have shortened ray flowers. Dahlia flowers may be white, yellow, red, or purple.

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▪ plant genus
 genus of plants in the family Asteraceae, containing about 30 species of tuberous-rooted herbs that are native to the higher elevations of Mexico and Central America. Most have leaves that are often segmented and toothed or cut.

      About six of the species in the Dahlia genus have been bred for cultivation as ornamental flowers. Wild species of dahlias have both disk and ray flowers in the flowering heads, but many varieties of ornamentals such as the common garden dahlia (D. bipinnata) have shortened ray flowers. The dahlia was first introduced into Great Britain from Spain in 1789, and countless varieties of dahlias, many of them double-flowered, were subsequently developed in Britain and elsewhere from the species D. variabilis and D. coccinea. The 2,000 horticultural varieties of dahlias are classed into 13 different types, including single, double, show, fancy, pompon, cactus, and peony-flowered dahlias. Dahlia flowers may be white, yellow, red, or purple in colour. Dahlias grow well in most garden soils. They flower late in the summer and do so until interrupted by frost in the autumn.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • dahlia — [ dalja ] n. m. • 1804; de Dahl, bot. suéd. ♦ Plante ornementale (composées) à tubercules, dont les fleurs simples ou doubles ont des couleurs riches et variées; sa fleur. Dahlias pompon. Bouquet de dahlias. ● dahlia nom masculin (de A. Dahl, nom …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • dahlia — (n.) 1804, named 1791 by Spanish botanist Antonio José Cavanilles for Anders Dahl (1751 1789), Swedish botanist and pupil of Linnaeus, who discovered it in Mexico in 1788. No blue variety had ever been cultivated, hence blue dahlia, figurative… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dahlia — [dal′yə, däl′yə; ] chiefly Brit [ dāl′yə] n. [ModL, after A. Dahl, 18th c. Swed botanist] 1. any of a genus (Dahlia) of perennial plants of the composite family, with tuberous roots and large, showy flower heads in various bright colors, native… …   English World dictionary

  • Dahlia — Dah lia (d[aum]l y[.a] or d[=a]l y[.a]; 277, 106), n.; pl. {Dahlias}. [Named after Andrew Dahl a Swedish botanist.] (Bot.) A genus of plants native to Mexico and Central America, of the order Composit[ae]; also, any plant or flower of the genus.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dahlĭa — Dahlĭa, 1) D. Cavan, Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Compositae Asteroideae Eclipteae, 19. Kl. 2. Ordn. L.; Arten: D. variabilis u. D. coccinea, beide in Mexico, in Europa als Georginen (s.d.), jetzt Modepflanze u. allgemein, ferner: D.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dahlĭa [1] — Dahlĭa, Pflanzengattung, s. Georgina …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dahlĭa [2] — Dahlĭa, violette Anilinfarbe, s. Hofmanns Violett …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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