Dahlia Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Influence

Saffron Marigold - Updated: December 4, 2023

Dahlia flower meanings include beauty, eternal love, inner strength, dignity, and kindness. Depending on the flower color, context, and culture, dahlias symbolize themes of celebration, relationships, and resilience. Read on to discover the dahlia flower’s meaning by culture and color and its influence on one of our home textile collections.

Table of contents:

  1. All about dahlias
  2. Dahlia flower meaning by culture
  3. Dahlia flower symbolism by color
  4. The dahlia as inspiration for art
  5. Pink dahlia textile collection
  6. Decorating with dahlia flower symbolism

All about dahlias

The dahlia is a genus with over 40 different species and thousands of varieties—in just about every size, petal shape, and color you can imagine. These gorgeous flowers, planted in late spring, bloom from July through the first fall frost. Native to Mexico, dahlias are considered perennials in warmer climates and annuals in colder areas.

Referred to as the “Queen of the Autumn Garden”, the dahlia flower has a long flowering season and long-lasting blooms. This is partly why it symbolizes commitment and a lasting bond between two people.

Common dahlia flower types

Most dahlias can be categorized into the following categories:

  • Orchid dahlias
  • Cactus and semi-cactus dahlias
  • Single dahlias
  • Collarette dahlias
  • Peony dahlias
  • Decorative dahlias
  • Anemone dahlias
  • Ball dahlias
  • Mignon Dahlias
  • Waterlily dahlias
  • Stellar
  • Pompom dahlias
Pink dahlia flower meaning positivity

Franz Kafka PomPom Dahlia

Pompom Dahlias
Blue flower dahlia meaning spirituality and grace

Hapet Blue Eyes Dahlia

Decorative Dinnerplate Dahlias

The dahlia flower meaning in Mexico and South America

The dahlia is Mexico’s national flower, and it represents pride, inner strength, elegance, beauty, and creativity. This diverse and extraordinary flower also holds spiritual significance, as it dates back to the Aztecs. Dahlias are native to South America in the mountainous regions of Mexico and Guatemala. Back in the mid 1500s, King Philip II of Spain sent botanists to these regions, and they discovered a variety of dahlia now known as the Tree Dahlia, which have long, hollow stems used to carry water by the Aztecs. Hence, its native names water cane, water pipe, and water flower.

Besides using the stems as water pipes, the Aztecs used this tuberous plant for food and medicinal purposes such as treating epilepsy. Then, dahlias were introduced to England in the early 1800s and it is believed that they were some of Queen Victoria‘s favorite flowers. This association helped cultivate the dahlia meaning of elegance and grace—it makes sense!

Dahlia flower meaning and symbolism by color

Dahlias, through their kaleidoscope of vibrant hues, convey a rich language of emotions through color.

Red Waterlily Dahlia

Red Dahlia Meaning: Strength, Love, Confidence

Yellow Stellar Dahlia with Red & White Tips

Yellow Dahlia Meaning: Celebration & Joy

Red dahlia

Red dahlia flowers symbolize perseverance, confidence, strength, and of course, love and romance. Gift them to those who are embarking on a new adventure or have overcome a challenging time in their life.

Yellow and orange dahlias

Bright and cheerful, yellow and orange dahlia flowers convey joy, celebration, and goodness. Send them to friends and family to commemorate special life milestones such as graduations or a friendship anniversary.

Pink dahlia

Pink dahlias embody feminine beauty, deep love, and elegance—perfect for Mother’s Day, anniversaries, or birthdays for the special women in your life.

Green dahlia

Green dahlias represent fresh starts and are perfect for wishing someone good luck when they are changing careers or moving into a new home.

Purple dahlia

Purple dahlia flowers symbolize grace, beauty, dignity, kindness. If you want to show appreciation, affection, or admiration to someone in a sophisticated way, purple dahlias can be a great choice.

Black dahlia

Black dahlia flowers are actually a dark crimson or purple. Historically, they represented a warning of betrayal or sadness (i.e. the tragic story of The Black Dahlia). However, they are commonly used in fall wedding bouquets and table decor for their moody aesthetic.

White dahlia

The dahlia’s spiritual meaning is conveyed through the white varieties. The white dahlia plant’s meaning is associated with new beginnings, purity, gratitude, and enlightenment. Whether it’s a birth, loss, or wedding ceremony, white dahlias convey a sense of hope for the future.

The dahlia: a gorgeous source of pattern inspiration

Flowers have been a source of inspiration in textiles through ancient history, from the sacred lotus to charming wildflowers. Saffron Marigold’s co-owner and designer Anisha Ghosh is endlessly inspired by nature and all it has to offer. For Anisha, dahlias hearken back to childhood memories when she would attend dazzling flower shows with her father in her hometown of Pune, India.

“The most coveted prizes were always the ones for best dahlias. I was always amazed by the different dahlia varieties, sizes, and colors on display—some as big as dinner plates!”

Anisha Ghosh, Saffron Marigold Co-Owner & Designer

Meet our dahlia print collection

In creating the Dahlia Daydreams collection, Anisha envisioned strolling through a sun-soaked field, where pom pom dahlias in shades of raspberry sorbet dance gracefully on slender stems, like a vibrant bunch of buoyant balloons in nature’s own celebration…

Anisha was particularly enchanted by the pom pom dahlia variety with its whimsical spherical shape and intricate structure. Rows of perfectly quilled petals form a lush, textured bloom, adding a touch of playfulness and elegance to gardens and floral bouquets. Here it is in textile art form!

Shop Dahlia Daydreams

Decorating with the dahlia flower meaning in mind

The color pink carries an elegant, feminine energy and is also bursting with positivity. Dahlia flowers’ cultural and contextual meanings are varied, but dahlias generally convey elegance, positivity, inner strength, and romance. We’ve gone into detail about how the dahlia plant’s meaning can change with color. In terms of decorating with pink dahlia accents, that means your room will feel sophisticated and dreamy.

Read our Mid-Century Modern decor guide to learn how to incorporate pink florals into this design style.

A dahlia print fabric collection in real homes

Dahlia flowers (and florals in general) are a wonderful choice for home textiles. When decorating with pink floral textiles, they shine best in bedrooms, dining rooms, and kitchens.

Looking to add an unexpected twist to your home office? Use the Dahlia Daydreams print to blend contemporary aesthetics with the timeless allure of floral motifs. Whether showcased on a throw pillow, curtain, rug, or blanket, pink dahlias infuse your space with a touch of grace and femininity.

Take a look at these lovely ideas for decorating with pink dahlia flowers to help you get inspired.

Saffron Marigold Customer Laura

Dahlia Daydreams Floral Jaipuri Razai Quilt

Saffron Marigold Customer Cindy

Dahlia Daydreams Romantic Rectangular Tablecloth

Dahlia flower in the bedroom for sophistication and femininity
Saffron Marigold Customer Lisa

Dahlia Daydreams Romantic Pink Duvet Cover

Saffron Marigold Customer Saagar

Dahlia Daydreams Round Pink Floral Tablecloth

However you choose to brighten up your space through textiles and decor, our handcrafted, fair trade dahlia floral print adds an impactful layer of visual delight, much like the graceful and captivating dahlia flower.

Shop Dahlia Daydreams