dahlia flower meaning

Dahlia Flower Meaning and Symbolism

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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 ompeltixy, body, and beauty – but beyond its stacked blooms, this flower has many layers of meaning, too. 

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

What Does Dahlia Mean?

Dahlia is technically a genus name 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 Do Dahlias 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). 

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

Ultimately a dahlia 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. Deeper meaning, however, can also be found in the many colors of dahlia flowers. 

What Does a Red Dahlia Mean?

Red dahlias typically symbolize some kind of strength and power, while those that are pink 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 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 Mean?

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

What is the Cultural Significance of a Dahlia?

Dahlias are entrenched in meaning across a multitude of cultures. The Victorians 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 national flower of Mexico, which is where it can be found growing in the wild. Originally grown in Mexico and other southernmost countries, the dahlia thrives in mountainous valleys that experience mild weather during the spring and summer months.

What is the Symbolism of a Dahlia Tattoo?

If you see someone with a dahlia tattoo, 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. 

*Photo by Shebeko/depositphotos

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