Dalia imperialis is a wild relative of the common garden dahlia. This is the most common of the dahlia species that are known as “tree dahlias.” Native range is cloud forests from southern Mexico to Panama. Like many of the wild dahlias, it has pink/purple, star shaped, single flowers. While little work has been done with most of the wild dahlias, there are quite a few ornamental cultivars of D. imperialis, but they aren’t easy to find. We have several in the collection so, while we mostly collect seed from the wild types, cross pollination is possible and you might see some less wild looking flower types on occasion. Plants are very tall, reaching eight to nine feet here, before the tops are killed by frost. In frost free climates, D. imperialis may reach as tall as 30 feet! This species flowers very late, just beginning in November. That means that we almost always have flowering, but it is very easy to lose the seed crop before it starts to mature in December, so this species won’t be available every year.
There is a little information indicating that leaves and stems were traditionally eaten, at least in small amounts. I have not been able to find any information about edibility of the tubers. The stems are hollow and water filled and were sometimes used as water source.
None of our dahlias are grown on a spacing that precludes cross pollination between species. They aren’t right next to each other, so they will be reasonably pure, but there is always the possibility that you will get some seedlings that are inter-species crosses. To my way of thinking, that only adds extra value, but if you have a need for absolute purity in your seeds, these might not be what you are looking for.
20 seeds per packet