Dahlias by Size, Form, and Color (American Dahlia Society)

Classification by Size

AA = Giant:   > 10"

A   = Large:  8 - 10"

B   = Medium:  6 - 8"

BB = Small:  4 - 6"

M   = Miniature:  < 4"

BA  = Ball:   > 3.5"

MB = Miniature Ball:  2 - 3.5"

P    = Pompon:  up to 2"

ST  = Stellar

WL = Water Lily



Dahlias by Form (ADS)

Classification by Form

The American Dahlia Society (ADS) has defined 20 different categories of dahlias by "FORM," as listed on this webpage.

          FD = Formal Decorative

          ID  = Informal Decorative

          SC = Semi-Cactus

          C   = Straight Cactus

          IC  = Incurved Cactus

          LC  = Laciniated  (a split at the end of petals, which are twisted for fringed                                          effect)

          BA = Ball  ( > 3.5")

          MB = Miniature Ball (2 - 3.5")   

          WL = Water Lily

          PE  = Peony-flowering

          AN = Anemone-flowering

          CO = Collarette

           S   = Single

          ST  = Stellar

          MS = Mignon Single

           O   = Orchid-flowering

          OT  = Orchette

          NO  = Novelty Open

          NX  = Novelty Fully Double

Granted this is a LOT of types of dahlias.  By grouping these pictures by "forms" of dahlias, perhaps it will be possible to see and understand the differences.   Please go to my next page (coming soon!) to see and compare these categories (they wouldn't fit on this page!!).


Dahlias by Color (ADS)

Categories of Dahlias by Color

The American Dahlia Society has defined 10 primary colors and 5 color combinations to classify dahlias by color.  My grandfather, Warren W. Maytrott, who established and operated Dahliadel Nurseries from 1916 to 1968 in Vineland, NJ, compiled the well-known "Dahliadel Color Chart," which was used for many years, even after his lifetime by the ADS to define dahlias by color!  Do you think my fascination with color, both in my career as a professor of mathematics (i.e., math in living color!) and now in my retirement years with dahlias, was inherited???

Here are the 10 colors:   

          BR = Bronze

          DP = Dark Pink

          DR = Dark Red

           L   = Lavender

         OR  = Orange

          PK = Pink

          PR  = Purple

           R   = Red

           W  = White

            Y  =  Yellow

Notice that there are NO blue dahlias!!

The color combinations are less obvious:

           BI = Bicolor

          FL = Flame Blend

          LB = Light Blend 

         DB = Dark Blend

          V  =  Variegated

Compare and contrast these categories with the examples below: