Dahlia Flowers Meaning & Symbolism

Dahlias have been coveted since the Spanish first encountered their exquisite perfection and vibrant hues in magnificent Aztec gardens. They have since become an integral part of the language of flowers, which ascribes various meanings and symbols to these intriguing blooms.

A dahlia flower’s meanings and symbolism are tied to its color. Red-colored signifies confidence; white refers to purity; purple signifies nobility and grace; black/burgundy denotes betrayal; pink embodies femininity, while blue and green dahlias refer to starting a new chapter.

Choosing your next dahlia bouquet with care would be wise if you want to convey the right message to a loved one. So, read on if you want to avoid mixed messages!

The Delightful Dahlia’s Colorful Past

Vibrantly colored Dahlias originated in Mexico, including Central America, where Aztecs cultivated them to harvest their tubers for consumption.

The Aztecs also used dahlias to cure epilepsy, and they ingeniously used their hollow stems as water ducts until the Spanish invaded their region.

While the Aztecs referred to dahlias as either water pipe or water cane flowers, there is much debate about the author of that name following the dahlia’s introduction to European societies in the 18th century.

It is generally believed that Carl Linnaeus named the dahlia in memory of his last botany student named Andreas Dahlin in 1791. However, that could not be true as Linnaeus passed away before naming this magnificent flower.

It is far more likely that Antonio Cavanilles, the Director of the Royal Gardens in Madrid, deserves the naming accolade as he was the first European to classify and name dahlia cuttings from their native Mexico scientifically.

Dahl refers to the Swedish word for valley, “dal,” so they are often referred to as valley flowers in certain regions.

While in Eastern European countries like Russia, they are called “georginas” as a tribute to Johann Georgi, who tried to rename them unsuccessfully.

There are currently 42 dahlia species part of the Asteraceae plant family, including daisies, chrysanthemums, and sunflower.

What Do All The Dahlia Colors Mean?

There’s no doubt that colors significantly impact our emotions, which evoke different sentiments.

So, let’s look at the fascinating unspoken language of flowers and what the different colors mean.

If you choose this vibrant color, red dahlias signify to the recipient that you would like to empower them to overcome significant obstacles in life.

Red colors denote power, strength, and confidence, so it’s no wonder that politicians favor red ties, and ladies wear red dresses.

But more than that, gifting the recipient with a bouquet of red dahlias denotes your love and devotion for them.

White dahlias unsurprisingly denote purity and innocents. Therefore, if you gift a loved one with white dahlias, you imply that they also embody child-like innocents with a pure, unblemished soul.

These Zen-like flowers are a perfect choice for baby showers, weddings, baptisms, or any event that requires a subtle hint of elegance.

Purple dahlias represent nobility, grace, and dignity. Purple was traditionally only worn by wealthy sectors of society a few centuries ago as the process of creating a purple hue was incredibly expensive. It’s a great choice if you want the recipient to feel dignified and special.

Black/burgundy dahlias have a negative connotation, notwithstanding their profound beauty, as they have conveyed a sense of betrayal and sadness throughout the history of time. Although they are called black dahlias, they are a dark burgundy color.

Blue dahlias, in stark contrast, is a perfect choice for a loved one who is in the process of transforming their lives and entering and embarking on an exciting new venture. So, they are a perfect housewarming gift as they evoke optimism with a pop of brightly-hued color.

Pink dahlias evoke positivity as they represent the beauty of femininity, elegance, and kindness. They are a perfect choice if you want to express your love and devotion to the recipient.

Green dahlias, like blue-colored flowers, greed denote a fresh new start or a renewed sense of purpose.

Dahlia’s Surprising Symbology

Dahlias symbolize a wide set of human emotions ranging from purity, dignity, and elegance to distrust, loss, and utter betrayal.

Although the interpretation of that wide array of symbolisms has changed throughout history as Victorians equated Dahlias with a token of love, passion, and utter devotion.

In stark contrast, black dahlias were subsequently linked to death when a young woman nicknamed “the black dahlia” was brutally murdered in 1947 – sadly, the case remains unsolved.

Dahlias are also representative of children born in August; however, dahlias are listed as a November birth flower.

They are also their native Mexico’s national flower and are believed to represent diversity as each flower petal is seamlessly connected to form a bloom.

Dahlias may also symbolize a diverse range of positive sentiments ranging from kindness, fidelity, commitment, positive change, renewal, and finding inner peace.

Are You Dreaming About Dahlias? This Is What It Means

Count yourself fortunate if you have recently dreamed about dahlia flowers!

Although dreaming about dahlias can mean different things, they are all tied to positive symbols varying from kindness, gracefulness, a deepened state of relaxation, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Due to the dahlia’s innate beauty and bespoke design, dreams about dahlias may denote an appreciation for a certain good-natured, beautiful lady who makes you feel supported.

Dahlia flowers may also denote a spiritual awakening and taking positive steps to improve your life during a difficult time.

Another potential interpretation of a dahlia dream is that the blooms denote your kind and friendly nature, which is deeply valued by your loved ones.

Alternatively, dahlias could symbolize balance and relaxation; therefore, it could prompt you to have a more balanced approach in life to find true happiness.

Because dahlias tend to grow in less-than-ideal environments, they denote resilience and your ability to persevere in challenging times. 

Moreover, dahlias are unique compared to other flowers, so they signify the ability to stand out in a crowd, be comfortable being yourself, and follow your dreams.


Magnificent dahlias have a long and illustrious history spanning from the ancient Aztecs to your modern-day florists. Their meaning and symbology are an expression of the human condition and its wide array of conflicting emotions ranging from fidelity to utter betrayal.