Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tree Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis)

I got 2 long flower stem which I have no idea what it was from Barbra when I joined our local fruit and vegetable swap for the second time last year. She tried very hard to explain what it is and how to propagate it but I still can’t imagine what the flower will look like. So she told me it look daisy like? I even misunderstood how to propagate it. You are supposed to propagate this stem horizontally but this novice gardener did it vertically. No easy task digging in clay soil for 50cm depth to stick in these stem which Lenay had to help as I was busy in school. Shhh…she does not know yet that it is suppose to be horizontal as I just read about it today. Lenay thought I brought back sugar cane at first. Well I thought the same thing too when I saw this stem at first. The stem is bamboo like but look similar to sugar cane if you spend your childhood in the tropics that will be first thing on your mind. How nice will it be to bite and munch on sugar cane.
So for future reference, here is a link on how to propagate tree dahlia. But we were lucky even we propagated it totally in the wrong direction, the plant did sprouted new shoots.DSC09392
New shoots sprouted from the nodes.
If we had grown the stem horizontally, we probably have a clump of tree dahlia now. Oh well, there is next time.
The plants grow very slowly at first. This is how they look last March since grown from September last year.
A month later in April, it shoot up very fast.
Early May we see the first batches of buds appearing.
tree dahlia bud
The first bloom in middle of May. I was so excited because it is mauve my favourite colour like the colour of my wedding dress. However, I can’t really see how the bloom actually look like since it is facing my neighbour backyard. Coincidently, that week we have local fruit and vegetable swap meetings and I had the chance to tell Barbra about her wonderful gifts blooming in our garden now. How I finally know that this is tree dahlia blooming in my garden? I borrowed some last year May gardening magazine publication from our local library and it had an article what kind of flowers usually bloom at different region in Australia in May. The tree dahlia photo in the magazine is very familiar to my eyes now.
This tree dahlia is facing our kitchen window, so we have a nice view while cooking. Notice why I am cooking more lately. A very tall plant more than 3 metre tall. Glad that the fence will help protect from the winds.  I read it continuously bloom in winter, I dearly hope so. A very nice colour to have in the garden during winter even on cloudy days.dahlia imperialis
We are not the only admirer of this tree dahlia. Bees love them too. We have so many bees busy buzzing around this tree dahlia to sips its nectar before the weather gets really cold. We are so delighted that we still see so many bees buzzing in early winter. We don’t see any bees last year in end autumn or early winter when we did not have this tree yet growing in our garden.
dahlia tree
I hope this week I have convinced you more thinking about local swap group in you area. See what wonderful gifts that I had received and learn so many new plants from so many generous gardeners.


Suffia said...

Hi, what a gorgeous tree dahlia. Your kebun looks great. Thnks for sharing.


Kelli said...

Enjoyed reading your post, a beautiful flower and a great plant for the garden. I haven't heard of plant swaps in Northern Ireland but I imaagine they exist. I used to go to the local horticulture club but it stopped meeting. Kelli

Mark Willis said...

That Tree Dahlia is a truly awesome plant! you could win some prizes with that, surely!?

Sue Garrett said...

I haven't heard of tree dahlias but they look a bit like our herbaceous dahlias. It has a lovely flower

littlekarstar said...

They are lovelyand you gave me a good giggle. I wouldn't know how to propagate them either! Definitely look like bamboo or sugarcane to me too. Nice of you to share the dahlias with your neighbors :)

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

And, you got that from a stick? Wonderful that it was shared with you. It is very pretty.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

I like the colour regal yet soft...Is the flower edible? purrr....meow!

shaz said...

That is a gorgeous tree dahlia. What a great view :)

One said...

I love those purple dahlias. It's such a pleasant colour.

Daphne Gould said...

Beautiful flowers. Tree dahlias were one my husband's grandmother's favorite flowers. She love to talk about the ones she grew.

Stephanie said...

This is the most beautiful tree to have! Cooking is not a core anymore isn't it? These dahlia flowers are so pleasing and really lovelier when moved by the wind ;-)

cikmanggis said...

salam Diana..lama tak datang ke kebun Diana ni..wah dah ada poko bunga dah lia..rasa-rasanya pokok dahlia ada ubi kan?

Kat said...

Looks exactly the same as mine, the photos I take of the flowers always have bees in them. If the canes do blow over in the wind you'll have a lot more to expand the patch!

Sue Catmint said...

what a great plant that tree dahlia, I love the photo of the bud. It was determined to sprout even if you didn't plant it the optimal way.

almutarjimah said...

Gorgeous batch! and the stem does look like sugar cane hehe. I wonder how dahlia looks like in black.

tina said...

It's beautiful and good job on growing it. I've never seen one so huge. Love the color.

Unknown said...

oh, thank you, you know I like purple :)))

Linda said...

Beautiful shot, great colors!! :)

Carletta said...

What a wonderful photo essay of the growth of this beautiful flower.
I love the shot against the sky - (the eighth one) lovely and delicate!

Fishtail Cottage said...

What a gorgeous tree - i've never seen one, so thank you for sharing over at Cottage Flora Thursday's garden party! xoox, tracie

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Queen of The Desert~ Thank you for visiting.

Kelli~Hopefully you find a new plant club or swap meeting.

Mark~They do look pretty in the garden and thrive pretty well in neglect.

Sue~Never knew there were tree dahlias either before.

Mrs Bok~ Hope my neighbour enjoy looking at them since it is very close to their backyard door.

Gardener on Sherlock Street~Fortunately that stick turn into a pretty magic wand although propagated incorrectly.

Cat-from-Sydney~Not sure whether it is edible or not.

Shaz~A view that inspire me to cook on rainy days.

Kwee Peng~ Very pleasing to look at.

Daphne~Tree dahlias grows without any pampering which made me very fond of it too.

Stephanie~Cooking is more fun nowadays with tree dahlia as companion.

Cikmanggis~Pokok dahlia biasanya ada ubi. Di tempat sejuk sebelum musim salji datang gardener selalu gali ubi ni untuk ditanam semula bila musim bunga tiba.

Kat~I remember your post with the long tree dahlia stalk. Can't wait to propagate more.

Catmint~A very determined plant and don't need to be look after closely at all.

almutarjimah~Black dahlia will be very interesting and exotic to look at I reckon.

tina~ They are very tall.

Ewa~ Glad that you like it.

Linda~ Thanks.

Carletta~It will be a memo what to expect when I propagate new ones next spring.

Tracie~Thank you for hosting.

Channal said...

Beautiful shot, lovely purple colour!
Have a lovely sunday... Anna