|Dramatic white dahlias with red stripes|
|Dark pink dahlias with yellow highlights|
|Meadowsweet leaves for greenery|
The most interesting thing about this bouquet is that all these flowers came from the same plant. Amazing isn't it? Take a second and look again. Here's a photo of a flower on the plant.
|An all white flower tinged with just pink |
and yet the flower to the left contains more yellow
After a little research I discovered that colour variation in dahlias is referred to as a Sport. Breeders look for these variations, or sports, as this is how they create new hybrids. A plant that is producing an attractive flower on one stem will be used to take cuttings. These cuttings are then grown on for several years until a stable colour is produced. Unfortunately dahlias are not reliable and will take it into their pretty little heads to change colour at whim. Sometimes reverting back to their original colour or changing into something entirely new. A frustrating trait at times but one that has allowed breeders to create the hundreds of colour and shape combinations that home gardeners so dearly love which isn't such a bad thing at all.