Tree Dahlias? Really?

This past week end I was up at the mountain house doing some early Christmas decorating when suddenly something colorful caught my eye through the  living room window. In the empty lot next door I saw a tall tree-like shrub with beautiful ruffled lavender flowers. It was just growing there, tall and out of place among the weeds and vines.  At first I thought it was one more shrub with unusually pretty flowers but the more I looked at it the more I realized that the flowers resembled Dahlias. I was intrigued because nobody ever goes into that emtpy lot and it’s pretty much a thick overgrown jungle-like area of virgin land and I know for certain that nobody has been in there planting anything, let alone Dahlias.  I’d also never seen or heard of a Dahlia tree. This thing was taller than me and it had a woody  trunk.  I grabbed my scissors and walked over there, keeping a watchful eye out for snakes (because you never know what might be lurking among the shrubs)  Upon closer inspection I became more convinced that it was a Dahlia and I realized that there were actually about half a dozen of these interesting trees growing here and there on the mountainous piece of land. All of them were in full glorious bloom. With the help of the gardener I cut enough flowers for two bouquets just from one tree and there were still plenty left. Later that evening I searched online to see if there was such a thing as a Dahlia tree. I was only able to find one variety  that is called Dahlia Imperialis which apparently comes in several colors including lavender but the pictures I saw online don’t seem to be as bright or as full as the flowers that I cut. So I came to the conclusion that either this is a little known Dahlia variety that grows in tropical countries (on a tree!), or it’s just a Dahlia Doppelganger. Either way, the flowers are lovely!

They make excellent cut flowers. This is what they looked like two days after they were cut.

This is the view of the tree through my living room window.

A close up

This flower looked a little bit different than the others. It was lighter in the center and had longer petals all around the outer edge.

Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

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