Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tree Dahlia - probably its last days of flowering.

I love my Tree Dahlia. It is the most optimistic plant I know of. (I am embarrassed to see that I have used that line over many years). Oh well.

Tree Dahlia flowering up and over other shrubs.
It needs some protection from winds,
otherwise, it gets flattened.
Several stems on left and right have fallen over
but the flowers will still open.
Every winter, it gets cut back to the ground (or under it, technically). Then in mid-spring it starts all over again, growing fast (imagine Jack's Beanstalk plant). Then in April, it starts to open its first flowers. Today it was in something approaching full flower. In old money, these flowers are over 10 feet off the ground.

Tree Dahlia stems holding many flowers
as seen from my Back Deck.
But late this afternoon, it started to rain. If the rain comes on heavily, the flowers will bow to the ground under the weight of the water it has to carry on its 3 metre plus stems.
Normally its enemy is frost. But we have not had any here, yet, because the long dry autumn mild spell. I will know more tomorrow, or the day after.

Tree Dahlia flower
That is a shot of a single flower (as best I could manage, by holding one stem over). The flowers are simple (open) whereas most Dahlia flowers are "double". But as far as I know Tree Dahlias are always delicate flowers, like this. Some are white. A heavy flower, such as the "Exhibition" Dahlias, which the Dahlia people rave about, would surely be too heavy for the stems to carry more than three metres above ground, and catching the wind.

I have a fairly dull Japanese Maple
But today it was looking charming
in the grey light of this afternoon.

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