Of New Zealand Dahlias


Not only was I captivated by Hagley Park’s begonia display but its dahlia border garden, too. The dahlias occupy a small strip along the periphery of the much larger rose garden, a great attraction in itself. The stunning variety represents the hybridizer’s craft. On one end are the single-row specimens from their native Mexico. How they were hybridized into much more complex forms is and will remain a mystery to me. This amazing morphological variation is showcased in the much larger dahlia garden section by flowers developed by New Zealand horticulturists, including the intriguing ‘cactus’ varieties.

Bellevue Demonstration Garden Dahlias


The King County Master Gardeners manage the Bellevue Demonstration Garden, also known as the Lake Hills Greenbelt Urban Demonstration Garden. Among the many plots is a section devoted to dahlias. There were two varieties that stood out. One of them had cream and ivory petals tinged mauve on the outer edges (top image). The other had peppermint candy colors where an individual flower contained red and white pigments in proportions different from other flowers on the same plant, as if unveiling Mendel’s concept of genetic variation before our eyes.

One peppermint candy color variation

One peppermint candy color variation

Flower on the same plant

Flower on the same plant

Bellevue Demonstration Garden
Near the northwest corner of 156th Ave SE and SE 16th St
Bellevue, WA