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Dahlias originate from Mexico and Guatemala where they produce single flowers. Enthusiasts in Europe in the 18th century bred many different forms, which now produce blooms that range from 5cm to 30cm (2in to 12in) in diameter.
During the Victorian period one of the most favoured classifications was the fimbriated dahlia, a type of cactus-flowered cultivar that has spiky split petals, which gives the blooms a hedgehog-like appearance. Until recently this type of dahlia was almost impossible to find, but they are now making a deserved revival.
'Marlene Joy' is an attractive bi-coloured dahlia that is white, with attractive contrasting pink tips on its spiky petals. Blooms reach 15cm to 20cm (6in to 8in) across, making them large enough to provide a dramatic impact in the garden. This cultivar is also a good exhibition flower.
Cultivar: Marlene Joy
Plant type: Summer/autumn blooming bulb
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist, Sandy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: March to May
Time to take cuttings: March to May
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