Dahlias come from the highlands of Mexico and Central America where they were cultivated for their medicinal properties and edible tubers. The dahlias were prized by the Aztecs for their large hollow stems used to carry water from the mountains down to villages, and their name Acocotli means water-pipe.
They were originally brought to Europe as a potential food crop, but they didn’t catch on as a dining option and gradually they were developed into garden flowers. Today the blossoms range from 2 inches to a foot wide, with almost 60,000 varieties.
This dainty dahlia seems to float against the garden beyond. They usually flower until first frost, a welcome autumn bloom. Although I enjoy exotic foods, I don’t think I would trade this flower for its root. I would much rather get lost in a sea of pink petals.