Since we did something a little different for Wednesday let’s continue the trend for a Friday. Today’s blast comes to you in the form of a blog rather than an email blast, the difference being the blast lies dormant in your computer while the blog will continue to span the globe like the wide world of sports.
Today’s blog features the spectacular, multi-flavored dahlia, a summer and autumn flowering perennial plant that is native to the mountains of Central America and Mexico. It is also the national flower of Mexico. In the 16th century Spanish conquistadors, while busy conquering the vast Aztec Indian nation, also made some interesting explorations-one of which was the collection of new world plant life.
The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th century botanist Anders Dahl. In 1872 a box of dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to the Netherlands. Only one of the plants survived the long journey but it produced brilliant red flowers with petals that were rolled back and pointed. Nurserymen from all over Europe bred from this plant and these are the progenitors of the thousands of varieties of modern day dahlias. Colors include orange, pink, purple, red, scarlet, yellow and white with some flowers striped or tipped with a different color.
These dahlias were shot in a couple of local gardens on the westside of Santa Cruz, where some varieties grow to six feet in height and over a foot in diameter. So that’s our look at the dazzling dahlia, next time we’ll check out surrealist painter Salvador Dali, the notorious unsolved murder case of the Black Dahlia and Clint Eastwood’s classic movie “A Fistful of Dahlias.” Enjoy the blog, the colors and the weekend.