Reaching out

Penelope Thomas

Joined September 2007

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  • Artwork Comments 6

Wall Art

Artist's Description

Botanical Name: Dahlia pinnata
Common Names: Dahlia, Pinwheel
Place Of Origin: Mexico, Guatemala

The 16th century Spanish conquistadors also found time to collect the New World flora. Botanists accompanying the soldiers discovered what is sometimes referred to as the tree dahlia (D. imperialis). The flowers of this species were open-centered, single blooms with pendant stems. The hollow stems of these plants, some growing to over 20 feet, were often used for hauling water or as an actual source of water to travelling hunters. In fact the Aztec name for "tree dahlias" was acocotli or water-cane.

About 200 years passed before dahlia seeds, roots, and plants found their way to Europe. Initial breeders of dahlias were more interested in it as a food source since the blooms were not particularly noteworthy. By the early 18th century, however, the first fully double flower forms began to emerge. From 1810 to 1840 dahlias were very popular as nurserymen continued to expand the combinations of colours in dahlias. In 1872 a box of dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to Holland, but only one tuber survived. This single root produced a most spectacular brilliant red bloom with petals that were rolled back and pointed. Plant breeders theno began to successfully combine this new variety (D. juarezii) with parents of early varieties and their progenies have served as the parents of today’s hybrids.
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Image © Penelope Thomas.
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Fujifilm s6500fd | Hand held | Natural light

Artwork Comments

  • Jacqueline Barreto
  • Kristina K
  • Alf Caruana
  • KathyT
  • Darlene Ruhs
  • handprintz
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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