Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Is there a Black Dahlia?

Is there a black dahlia? What is "The Black Dahlia"? Two similar questions with polar opposite answers.

When gardeners ask: “Is there a black dahlia? The short answer is no.

Neither natural nor hybrid dahlias currently produce a true “Black” colored blossom. There are many deep red and burgundy color dahlias. These varieties are often called chocolate, or brown dahlias. While unquestionably impressive, their flowers are not black. Aficionados of the dahlia genus can only hope that someday a hybridizing breakthrough occurs, and the elusive black dahlia is successfully created. Meanwhile, varieties like Black Satin, Voodoo, Black Narcissus, Danjo Doc, Fidalgo Blacky, and others do their best black dahlia imitation.

The broader question-- is there a “Black Dahlia?” --has a very different answer.

The “Black Dahlia” is a name coined by Los Angeles area newspapers to describe the sensationally gruesome 1947 murder of Elizabeth “Beth” Short. Then as now, print media would try and give high profile murders memorable names, similar to the "buzzwords" of today’s media outlets. The Black Dahlia murder remains one of the highest profile unsolved US murders. In the years following 1947, the event and investigation have grown to cult status. With books, movies, and hundreds of web resources and followers, and of course many a conspiratorial theory. Learn more about it HERE