Dahlias come in many different forms, including flamboyant cactus, waterlily and pompon varieties. All of these have double-flowers, which look spectacular.
How to grow dahlias
These complex flowers have little to offer bees and other pollinators, though. By contrast, single-flowered dahlias are fantastic for pollinators. With fewer petals and their reproductive parts on show, bees, butterflies and other insects have easy access to the flowers’ pollen and nectar, and the flowers are no less beautiful. They are a beautiful addition to the garden and are wildlife-friendly, too.
Don’t forget to check out more ways to make your garden bee-friendly in autumn.
Here are some beautiful single-flowered dahlias to grow.
Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’
Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’ bears bright yellow single flowers, in contrast with green-purple foliage, throughout the summer. It’s ideal for growing in a mixed herbaceous border, and is an excellent late source of nectar for bees and butterflies.
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Auckland’
Dahlia ‘Bishop of Auckland’ bears velvety, crimson, single flowers on near-black stems, in contrast with dark green-red leaves. It is well suited to growing in a mixed, herbaceous border, where its tall, red flowers will complement a range of other flowers.
Dahlia ‘Annika’ is a tricking dahlia, bearing vibrant pink flowers in contrast with dark-green foliage, from midsummer to autumn. It’s well suited to growing in a mixed, herbaceous border, and is very attractive to bees and butterflies.
Dahlia ‘Twynings Candy’
Dahlia ‘Twynings Candy’ is a delightful dahlia, bearing pretty pink-and-white-striped single flowers over mounds of dark green-purple foliage, from midsummer to the first frosts.
Dahlia ‘Chocolate Sundae’
Dahlia ‘Chocolate Sundae’ bears large, single, maroon flowers with bright yellow centres over toothed, dark green, pinnate leaves.
Dahlia ‘Ian Hislop’
Dahlia ‘Ian Hislop’ bears orange-yellow single flowers from midsummer to late-autumn. It’s perfect for growing in a mixed herbaceous border, especially among purple- and red-flowered plants.
Dahlia ‘Magenta Star’
Dahlia ‘Magenta Star’ bears deep magenta pink flowers with a dark reddish brown disk fringed with gold. Foliage is a pretty dark green/brown.
Dahlia ‘Joe Swift’
Dahlia ‘Joe Swift’ is a single-flowered dahlia variety, with pretty yellow-centred white flowers, which develop pinkish tones as they mature. The flowers contrast beautifully with dark-green-bronze foliage.
Dahlia ‘Topmix Pink’
Dahlia ‘Topmix Pink’ bears pretty, single pink flowers with yellow centres, in contrast with dark green foliage. Flowers last throughout summer and well into autumn.
Kate Bradbury says
Dahlias provide bees and other pollinators with a very late source of nectar. Keep the supply of food going with winter-flowering plants such as winter honeysuckle, and don’t forget to plant crocuses for emerging queen bumblebees in spring.