American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several plants of the genus Dahlia native to the mountains of Mexico, Central America, and Colombia, having tuberous roots and showy, rayed, variously colored flower heads.
- n. The flower head of one of these plants.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A genus of plants, natural order Compositæ, of which several species are known, all natives of Mexico and Central America. It is nearly allied to the northern genus Bidens. D. variabilis was introduced into Europe from Mexico early in this century. In its native state the flowers are single, with a yellow disk and dull scarlet rays. Under cultivation there have been developed a multitude of forms, varying in height, in foliage, and especially in the beautiful colors and forms of the flowers. The plant is unable to endure frost, and is perpetuated by its tuberous roots, which are taken up for the winter. Two or three other species are sometimes cultivated.
- n. [lowercase] A plant of the genus Dahlia.
- n. [lowercase] In dyeing, a violet coal-tar color consisting of the ethyl and methyl derivatives of rosaniline. It is often called
Hofmann's violet, and primula. Its application is limited, as it fades when exposed to light.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A genus of plants native to Mexico and Central America, of the order Compositæ; also, any plant or flower of the genus. The numerous varieties of cultivated dahlias bear conspicuous flowers which differ in color.
- n. any of several plants of or developed from the species Dahlia pinnata having tuberous roots and showy rayed variously colored flower heads; native to the mountains of Mexico and Central America and Colombia
- Named 1791 by Spanish botanist Antonio José Cavanilles for Anders Dahl. (Wiktionary)
- New Latin Dahlia, genus name, after Anders Dahl (1751-1787), Swedish botanist. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The term "dahlia" is used for the first time in 1791, when Cavanilles publishes Icones et Descriptiones Plantarum.”
“A dahlia from the garden of AKS, shot Labor Day weekend 2008.”
“Strangely, no blue variety has ever been cultivated, hence "blue dahlia" is sometimes used figuratively for something impossible or unattainable.”
“Later in the sixteenth century, the dahlia is described in the Codex Barberini, dating from 1552, and lost for centuries prior to its rediscovery in the Vatican Library in 1929.”
“Modern botanists agree that the dahlia is native to Mexico and Guatemala, but how did it come to be cultivated so widely all over the world today for its showy flowers?”
“An oak is an oak, whether green with spring, or red with winter; a dahlia is a dahlia, whether it be yellow or crimson; and if some monster hunting florist should ever frighten the flower blue, still it will be a dahlia; but not so if the same arbitrary changes could be effected in its form.”
“A weed is what might grow where you don't want it; a dahlia could be a weed, or love, or other notions.”
“The large white wire is to be used as stems for flowers, such as dahlia, camellia, &c.”
“A weed is what might grow where you don’t want it; a dahlia could be a weed, or love, or other notions.”
“The very biggest "dahlia" of all -- Anemone was its real name, but Eyebright did not know that -- was in the highest of these pools, and Eyebright lay so long looking at it and giving it an occasional tickle with her forefinger to make it open and shut, that she never noticed how fast the tide was beginning to pour in.”
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