The flashy dahlia family includes thousands of named varieties, most of them falling into 19 categories. Types are designated by flower shape, from the miniature pompon and the daisy-like single to the spiky cactus bloom. Traces of the dahlia's wildflower past can be seen in older varieties, including the buttercup-like '' and the scarlet 'Bishop of Llandaff.' Recent releases, such as the candy-colored 'Eden Talos' and the ruffled 'Leslie Renee,' have more formal shapes, with the sturdy stems and perfect symmetry that garner blue ribbons at garden shows today.
Shown: Cheery 'Bishop of Llandaff' has red flowers that pop against moody black foliage.