Floral Spotlight: Dahlias {Part 1 - Café Au Lait}


Grit and Soil

I have been holding off on this floral spotlight for so long because I just love dahlias and besides ranunculus, I think they may be my favorite flower!  There are SO many varieties of dahlias that I will be doing this in a series, to give each one justice {and help you differentiate them}.

Today’s spotlight is featuring the large Café Au Lait dahlia which is in the dinner plate family; named for its gargantuan size, some blooms can grow anywhere from 6 ” up to 14″ in diameter! Unlike all dahlias, Café au Laits are available only in summer, usually in season until about September, but sometimes available through October. A few interesting facts I learned about dahlias are a) that a diabetic sugar was made from dahlia tubers for diabetic treatment before insulin was discovered, and b) clinical experiments and tests actually use chemicals present in dahlia flowers for kidney and liver studies. I definitely would have never thought of that!

Fluffy and romantic, these dahlias can take center stage or provide a textural backdrop.  I am working with my July bride, Kristy, and we may be incorporating some of these lovelies in a brighter shade of pink as a perfect plan B if peonies aren’t still available.

Now let’s soak up the prettiness in images.

Café Au Lait dinnerplate dahlias were used in Erin‘s wedding bouquet, one of the most gorgeous bouquets I’ve ever seen {by the amazingly talented Yumiko Fletcher of Hana Floral Design and images by Anna Sawin}.  You’ll also see silver brunia and juliet roses in there if you look hard enough!

Hana Floral Design, Image by Anna Sawin

Hana Floral Design, Image by Anna Sawin

Credit unknown; please provide if you know it!

This dinnerplate dahlia made up the main attraction in the bride’s bouquet.

flowers by Krishana Collins: September Weddings

via Elizabeth Ann Designs Blog

poppies & posies

Image by Missy Photography, Flowers by poppies & posies

Image by Jennifer Longaway Photography, Flowers by Martha Andrews

En route to a wedding..


Image by Erin Hearts Court, Flowers by LaPartie Events

Image by Jasmine Star, Flowers by JL DESIGNS

On the cake…

Decorate This! Blog

In the details…

Image by Elizabeth Messina, Flowers by Kat Flower

Image by Q Weddings, Flowers by Rosehip Flora


Le Fleur Boutique

Images by Lisa Lefkowitz and Aaron Delesie

Credit unknown; please provide if you know it!

Image by Erin Hearts Court, Flowers by LaPartie Events

I just love the light, fluffy textures that make these flowers so unique.  If peonies aren’t in season, dahlias are a great second option to help you achieve that lovely textured look!

Here are some I bought from the farmers’ market and placed in mason jars for our table.  Sweet and simple.

Blackberry cam

To catch up on all the floral spotlights, click here.

Happy Monday, everyone!

  • Gabriella says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    The first bouquet is absolutely stunning! I haven’t seen such a beautiful one in quite a while! And thank you for this post - I think you just ignited my love for dahlias! xo, Gabriella

  • Brancoprata says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I absolutely share with you this love!! They always look amazing and make such a beautiful statement!!

  • HiLLjO says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    How versatile! I would LOVE to see a bouquet of white stephanotis, white anemones, blush daffodils and these cafe au lait dahlias. I LOVE blue dahlias.

    Now that I know what silver brunia is, I also want to make a bouquet of it with craspedia. Whimsical, gray + yellow… I love.

  • Laura *You Stir Me* says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    These were my bridal bouquet flowers! I picked them the day before with all my ladies and just used three of them to create my bouquet. They’re some of the most beautiful flowers and definitely a great option for summer brides if Peonies are no longer available (I’m a little biased though - dahlias all the way!)

  • Kirby {Colors of Honey} says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I love dahlias! I’m incorporating them in out October wedding. I think their size is such a statement and they come in a variety of colors which is great for any color scheme. personally I think dahlias will be the new peonies. and don’t get me wrong I think peonies are a beautiful flower, but dahlias are climbing the ladder on the popularity chart!

  • Tiffany says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I’m in love. I was looking for a signature wedding flower and I think this is it.

  • Lisa says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Your floral spotlights are so informative!! Just wanted to let you know I appreciate all the research and hunting down the perfect pictures that you must do for these… It’s so nice to feel knowledgeable about different flowers that previously, all I knew was that they’re pretty! :)
    Have a lovely day!

  • stephanie says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    *gasp* Those are simply breathtaking. I want some NOW to spruce up my dining room table! I guess I had never seen any other dahlia varietals before other than the black dahlia. I’m in love!

  • postcards and pretties says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    hands down one of my favorite flowers

  • Maggie Eisenstat {I Do Love It} says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Wow some seriously amazing florals in this round up!

  • Shana says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Those are just heavenly! They remind me of my parents backyard because my mom grows them! I can almost smell them through the photos!

  • Chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Oh I love dahlias! I think they are the new peony :) I had them in my wedding bouquet too!

  • Cheryl says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Love that you’re doing a series on this! I love Dahlias, and my sister is going to attempt to grow them for my DIY bouquet. I’m a little skeptical, but if they turn out I’m gonna be a happy bride!

  • Kristin @ Bona Fide Bride says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I practically just fell out of the driver’s seat of my car! These are gorgeous! I love Saipua and Poppies & Posies, my two favorite floral designers! I just bought some pretty pink poppies with black centers to plant, but now I think I have to add dahlias.. For serious! I am going today.

  • carlijean says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I love Dahlias! They were in my wedding bouquet, and the bridesmaids carried a single huge dahlia.

  • Sarah {A Paper Proposal} says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Aw, I LOVE LOVE LOVE dahlias! They can be really fun and vibrant, or super soft and romantic. Great photos!

  • Koru Kate says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Good idea to swap dahlias for peonies! I’ll have to remember this when a Bride is crying that peonies are out-of-season :-)

  • Sarah says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    These photos are beyond beautiful! The dahlias are gorgeous, and ooh, definitely not a usual pick for a flower bouquet at a wedding. They make such a beautiful bunch of flowers though - the colors and textures. All perfect! x

  • Kamie says on April 4, 2011 Reply


  • Jody Brettkelly says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Oh what happy flowers, they really are so cool and it makes me want to go out and get some for the house!
    (Jacin - just to let you know. I had loads of problems in last couple of days trying to get into your posts, not sure if it my Apple laptop though. Tried about four times. Wouldn’t let me scroll down the post at all. Glad to be able to visit and comment at last!)

  • Lena says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Oh, I’m totally smitten! Dahlias are so lovely, and there’s nothing better than a dinner plate sized bloom!

  • erin * sparkle & hay says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    these are some of my favorites too!!! and i’m tickled pink that you included my bouquet!!! Yumiko is BRILLIANT and Anna captured it perfectly!

  • Erin Taylor @ BUstle says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    love these beauties.!!

  • Nikki {Perpetually Engaged} says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Gorgeous! I love the 2nd bouquet. Although they’re all beautiful and I now I need fresh flowers!

  • Brooke @ Bright Wishes says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Before I got engaged, flowers weren’t my thing. Now I’m in love with them especially these! They are so pretty!

  • Brooke @ Bright Wishes says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    oh my gosh! and thank you for voting for me!

  • kristi says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Absolutely one of my top five favorite flowers of all time!!! Ah the color of the cafe au lait are stunning…and how can you not love dinner plate sized blooms?!?!? Such an amazing round of pictures…you always do the best round ups ;-)))) hope you had a lovely weekend!


  • Diana says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I need to get to a farmers market, your mason jars look so lovely. Dahlias have been one of my favorites too since I saw them after wedding blogging, I never saw them before that! Erin’s bouquet is stunning and the texture in the photo from Q weddings with the succulents, wow! :) Amazing photos.

  • Diana says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    Is this thing on? Check, check! Love all of these, dahlias are so beautiful and they just catch your eye when you see them. Love Erin’s bouquet and the different textures in the photo from Q Weddings with the succulents.

  • Diana says on April 4, 2011 Reply


  • Aleah + Nick Valley says on April 4, 2011 Reply

    I adore these and love late summer/early fall in Seattle when you can pick them up in newspaper-wrapped bundles at Pike Place Market. One of my favorite things about visiting home in the fall! {A}

  • Julie {Strawberry Milk Events} says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    I’m loving these! Right up there with peonies and ranunculus ;)

  • Jill@teenagebride says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    i tend to like smaller flowers but these are GORGEOUS!!!

  • Anna @ Acquainted With The Night says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    I LOVE Dahlias! I am thinking, they would also be gorgeous in a brides hair or, really, anyone’s hair! Something Carrie Bradshaw would do! :D

  • Jasmine says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    those flowers are GORGEOUS! i want them!

  • Ghenet says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    I love dahlias! We used the cranberry ones at our wedding and they were so gorgeous. :)

  • Naomi says on April 5, 2011 Reply

    Dahlias are the flowers that no matter where you place them and no matter the event it raises the level of sophistication. The first image is stunning!

  • {eclat} event design says on April 17, 2011 Reply

    Beautiful post!!!!!! Dahlias are gorgeous!!

  • Dahlia Lover says on July 13, 2011 Reply

    Awesome! I love dahlia flowers ever since, however, after seeing this page I can’t help but try growing dahlias from tubers or bulbs right in my own yard. These flowers appear great in any special occasion, especially on anyone’s big day. Thanks for the nice dahlia pics!

  • Ellen OBrien says on July 29, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the Inspiration.

  • Sarah says on March 29, 2012 Reply

    I really want to use the Cafe Au Lait Dahlias for my grandmother’s 90th birthday party but I am having trouble finding them. Anyone know where to buy them in bulk?

  • Sarah says on March 31, 2012 Reply

    Does anyone know what the green silvery berries used in several of these bouquets above are?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

featured and seen in
   | Web hosting and development: The Hosting Guide