dahlia flower meaning

Dahlia Flower Meaning and Symbolism By Color

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When you’re building a garden with everlasting beauty, the dahlia should be a top contender on your list of plants to grow. 

This hardy flower has multi-layered petals that add to its complexity, body, and beauty – but beyond its stacked blooms, this flower has many layers of meaning, too. 

Dahlias have the unique ability to withstand harsh conditions.

Dahlias grow long into the summer, blooming in hot, dry conditions as well as cooler ones.

With tuberous roots and hardy flowers, garden dahlias hold on for a long time in the autumn garden.

Because of this, they often symbolize a positive energy and a lifelong commitment to growth – but it’s important to note that the flower symbolism for this bloom goes deep!

In fact, the dahlia has lots of hidden meanings just waiting to be uncovered.

What is the Etymological Meaning of the Dahlia Flower?

Dahlia is technically a genus that refers to a large group of flowers.

Most scientists and historians can’t agree on how the name came to be.

Some early records suggest that Carl Linnaeus himself named the flower – bestowing the moniker in honor of a student with the last name of “Dahl,” but this is widely contested. 

In fact, some people argue that Linnaeus died before the flower was ever named. 

Interestingly, the name dahlia hasn’t always been popular, either.

Scientists once tried to change the genus name to “Georgina” – of course, it didn’t stick.

What Does the Dahlia Flower Symbolize?

Usually, dahlia flowers are viewed as symbolizing basic themes like grace under pressure.

They also symbolize inner strength and the move toward major life changes (usually, changes that are positive). 

The dahlia flower can also represent a commitment to an idea or a person, or the balance between certain ideas, like relaxation and adventure.

Ultimately a dahlia flower symbolizes strength in adversity – no matter what the challenge might be.

They can be used to underline somebody’s commitment and dedication, regardless of the circumstance.

There are many different dahlia colors, each of which has its own unique symbolism.

Let’s take a look at the wide variety of dahlia colors you might find and how each different color has its own unique symbolism depending on the setting.

What Does a Red Dahlia Flower Mean?

Red dahlias typically symbolize some kind of strength and power, especially those with a burgundy color, while those that are closer to a pink shade are associated most strongly with grace and kindness. 

Therefore, it’s important that you carefully consider what meaning you want to convey when giving a red or pink dahlia, as the two shades can easily be confused. 

What Does a White Dahlia Flower Symbolize?

White dahlias represent the drive to remain focused.

They can also symbolize purity, which is a common meaning for white flowers of all kinds – and not just dahlias. 

What Does a Black Dahlia Flower Mean?

Though less common, black dahlias (they are really more of a burgundy shade) typically symbolize a warning of some kind.

Often, these dahlias symbolize a warning of betrayal.  

This is perhaps the darkest dahlia symbolism you’ll find with this beautiful flower, with negative emotions aplenty.

What Do Pink Dahlias Symbolize?

The color pink as a flower color is generally a symbol of kindness and grace. It can also symbolize fresh starts and new beginnings.

The pink dahlia flower is one of the most popular garden flowers you’ll find, and its stunning blooms hold deep symbolic meaning.

They can even symbolize feminine beauty!

The perfect gift for just about anyone in your life, pink dahlias are often found in cut flowers and can be used to symbolize a lasting bond with someone you’re close to.

What Do Purple Dahlias Symbolize?

The purple dahlia is the perfect gift to give to a special someone who is going through a big change.

Purple dahlias symbolize positive changes and the ability to overcome challenging situations, since they represent good fortune, strength in adversity, and nobility in a positive way.

Not only that, but purple dahlias represent royalty.

These vivid flowers symbolize elegance in all walks of life.

What Do Blue Dahlias Symbolize?

Pure blue dahlias are similar to purple ones in that these lovely blooms have a flower symbolism most closely related to nobility and elegance.

They symbolize royalty and can also symbolize elegance, inner strength, and eternal love.

There are very few negative connotations associated with this color of the dahlia flower!

What Does a Green Dahlia Symbolize?

Green dahlias aren’t the mots common garden plants you’ll find, but they also have their own symbolic meaning.

These flowers represent diversity and a fresh start.

Overall, these flowers convey a serious positive energy to the person receiving them!

What is the Cultural Significance of Dahlia Flowers?

Now that you know what each color of the dahlia means, let’s go beyond the symbolic meanings and talk about the cultural significance of these most beautiful flowers.

Dahlia flowers are entrenched in meaning across a multitude of cultures.

In the Victorian era, people believed that the dahlia can be used to symbolize a lasting commitment or bond between two people – often, lovers – but that’s not all.

The dahlia is also the birth flower for August (and in some traditions, of November, too). 

The flower is also the official flower of Mexico, which is where it can be found growing in the wild.

Native to Mexico and Central America, dahlia flowers thrive in mountainous valleys that experience mild weather during the spring and mid summer months.

What is the Symbolism of a Dahlia Tattoo?

If you see someone with a tattoo of this popular flower, it probably means that they want to symbolize change.

Dahlias can represent any kind of change when worn as tattoos, but they are often recognized as symbols of elegance and dignity, too. 

When Should You Give Someone a Dahlia?

Closely related to asters and sunflowers, dahlias are not edible, nor are they used for any medicinal purposes.

The tubers can be mildly toxic, so it’s important that you avoid giving dahlias to people with pets that like to taste every new plant that comes into the home!

Otherwise, dahlias are wonderful to give to people who are celebrating some sort of positive change.

Whether that’s a marriage or the birth of a new baby, dahlias can symbolize the bond that a group of people feel for each other and can also represent purity, grace, strength, and kindness. 

Learn more about dahlia companion plants to have a beautiful garden.

*Photo by Shebeko/depositphotos

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