Dahlia imperialis (Giant Tree Dahlia)
Zone: 7a to 9b,
Height: 108" tall
Origin: Central America
Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)
I have this fetish for growing peculiar things, and the giant tree dahlia is at the top of my list. In the wild, Dahlia imperialis can reach 30', but our garden plants only reach a meager 9' in height. The bamboo-looking stalks easily grow to a massive 3" in diameter and are topped with oversized but typical dahlia foliage. If you garden in Zone 7a, you can forget flowers, which are single pink and always manage to open the day we have our first killing frost. Nevertheless, this tropical-looking gem is worth growing just for its stature and texture in the garden...and to fool all your neighbors with its identity. Have someone take your photo standing alongside your dahlia, and you're a sure-fire winner for the next Miracle-Gro® commercial.