Tuesday, 30 September 2014

AIPH 2014 International Grower of the Year

Monday, 22 September 2014

Schoneveld Breeding, The Netherlands, is the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH) International Grower of the Year (IGOTY)Golden Rose winner for 2014.

The coveted prize was announced at the 66th AIPH Annual Congress gala dinner in Qingdao, China, on 17 September 2014, during which the golden rose trophy was presented by AIPH President, Vic Krahn and China Flower Association Secretary General, Liu Hong.

From left to right: Liu Hong, Secretary General, China Flower Association, Mr Peter van de Pol and Mrs Danielle van de Pol, Schoneveld Breeding and Mr. Vic Krahn, President AIPH.

Other winners of the IGOTY awards, partnered by FloraCulture International, include:

  • Silver rose - Fujian Liancheng Orchid Corporation, China
  • Bronze rose - Queen / Knud Jepsen, Denmark
  • Fourth place – Winkelmolen Nursery Ltd, Canada

Golden Rose:
Schoneveld Breeding, The Netherlands

Growing flowering pot plants since 1930, starting with Cyclamen and later introducing Primula, Ranunculus and Campanula, today Schoneveld Breeding has a substantial share of the cyclamen market and owns a number of the leading brands in its sector.

The company has several research programmes and uses its own laboratory for research into seed technology as well as its own genetic material. Schoneveld Breeding also provides growers with the necessary support to enable them to produce high-quality plants through growing recommendations for young plants and finished products.

The jury was impressed by the business and their marketing theme, ‘connecting the chain’ which seeks to add value throughout the supply chain.

Peter and Danielle van de Pol were present to receive their golden rose. Commenting on their win Peter van de Pol said “I am very proud to win this prize.  We work with all parts in the supply chain to add quality and value.  This is our focus and receiving this award proves that we are on the right track”.

Commenting on the results AIPH President, Vic Krahn said, “This has been an incredibly exciting evening, there was electricity in air.  The winners are all extraordinarily happy, and so they should be because the entrants were really top quality.  The judges had a difficult job, with a large pool to pick from.  They had very difficult decisions to make and they have done a great job.  This award promotes the best of the best in the world; I congratulate all four winners tonight and especially our gold rose winner, Schoneveld Breeding.”

Other winners in the awards were:

Silver Rose
Orchid breeder, Fujian Liancheng Orchid Corp.Ltd, China
Founded in 2000, Fujian Liancheng Orchid Corp. cultivates orchids for 37 franchised stores nationwide, and ranks top in the domestic orchid industry producing more than 11 million orchids of over 260 varieties from seven species a year.

The company strives to develop high-quality Chinese Orchid products that embody the culture and spirit surrounding the Chinese Orchids.

The jury admired the way the company has added value by developing multi-purpose orchids which can also be included in food, drinks, cosmetics and perfume.  The business has 12% of the Chinese Orchid market in China.  It has shown considerable growth over a short time period and has a bright future ahead.

Bronze Rose:
Kalanchoë producer, Knud Jepsen A/S, Queen®, Denmark
Founded in 1963, Queen is a leading grower producing approximately 25 million kalanchoë plants and 50 million kalanchoë cuttings in a 120,000 sqm area.

With a strong focus on innovation, the company seeks to improve and modernise its production facilities in order to develop new and premium quality products that offer bright ‘on-trend’ colours, long-lasting blooms that look fresh for weeks and are easy to grow.

The jury praised the business for being active in breeding and commercialising their products through the use of eye-catching store displays, integrated in the trolley system; a QR code to access the latest tips and also through their participation in national promotion programs. The nursery produces plants to the highest quality, social and environmental standards.

Fourth Place:
Tree and shrub grower, Winkelmolen Nursery Ltd., Ontario, Canada
Established in 1979, Winkelmolen Nursery is situated on 600 acres of land producing high quality trees and shrubs for garden centres, cities, conservation areas and other nurseries, as well as growing many native trees that are propagated from local seed sources.

The Nursery consistently looks to develop new improved processes and automation using the latest technology, and is currently working with a company on creating a scanner to help modernise its grading and inventory process.

The jury was impressed with the way the company works with a research committee and government organizations, including universities and research stations to help in processes and automation in production and labour.

Flower of the day: Calceolaria herbeohybrida

Pic courtesy Expo 2016 Antalya

Calceolaria herbeohybrida

Calceolaria Herbeohybrida Group is a cultivar group of hybrids in the genus Calceolaria, derived from three species from Chile and Argentina, Calceolaria crenatiflora, Calceolaria corymbosa and Calceolaria cana.

Calceolaria Herbeohybrida Group hybrids are usually 30–45 cm (12 to 18 in) tall, sometimes smaller. They have soft stems and flowers can vary from yellow to red. There are a lot of cultivars including 'Gold Fever' with yellow flowers, 'Jewel Cluster' early flowering with mixed colours, 'Sunset mixed' with orange to red flowers, and 'Sunshine' with yellow flowers.

History - Floriade Venlo 2012... two years ago, participation of Italy !

We're continuing now our visit of the Floriade 2012, and most particularly the "World Show Stage" zone, where are the most part of the nation's pavilions.

Discover the autonomous region of Trentine, representing Italy.

The autonomous region of Trentino, to the south of the Alps, is representingItaly. At the centre of the garden is a two-storey wooden pavilion which highlights all the leisure and tourist activities possible in Trentino and displays an amazing range of Italian agricultural produce.

There's of course many informations with a very warm welcome.

Notice that one room of this pavilion is totally dedicated to the next World Expo in 2015 in Milano.

And of course, Expo 2015 Milano was already associated and shown in this italian pavilion, with many explanations !

Of course, this Italian pavilion was much appreciated by visitors of Floriade 2012 in Netherlands. It was like a little piece of Italy, in a pleasant green setting, an interesting reflect of this beautiful country!

Monday, 29 September 2014

Flower of the day: Cheiranthus cheiri

Pic courtesy Expo 2016 Antalya

Cheiranthus cheiri or Erysimum cheiri...

Erysimum cheiri syn. Cheiranthus cheiri (common name "wallflower") is a species of flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), native to Europe but widespread as an introduced species elsewhere. It is also widely cultivated as a garden plant. It is known as giroflée and ravenelle in French, Goldlack in German, alhelí in Spanish and violacciocca in Italian.

The common name "wallflower" attaches to all cultivars of this plant, as well as other species within the genus Erysimum and the former genus Cheiranthus.

This is an herbaceous perennial, often grown as a biennial, with one or more highly branching stems reaching heights of 15–80 cm (6–31 in). The leaves are generally narrow and pointed and may be up to 20 cm (8 in) long. The top of the stem is occupied by a club-shaped inflorescence of strongly scented flowers. Each flower has purplish-green sepals and rounded petals which are two to three centimeters long and in shades of bright yellows to reds and purples.
The flowers fall away to leave long fruits which are narrow, hairy siliques several centimeters in length.

This is a popular ornamental plant, widely cultivated for its abundant, fragrant flowers in spring. Many cultivars have been developed, in shades of yellow, orange, red, maroon, purple, brown, white and cream. It associates well in bedding schemes with other spring flowers such as tulips and forget-me-nots. It is usually grown as a biennial, sown one year to flower the next, and then discarded. This is partly because of its tendency to grow spindly and leggy during its second year, but more importantly its susceptibility to infections such as clubroot.

A miniature yellow double leafed wallflower was rediscovered by Rev. Henry Harpur-Crewe (before 1883) and is now named "Harpur Crewe". Other bred varieties may vary quite a bit in appearance from the wild plant. One cultivar, 'Chelsea Jacket', is a winner of the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit. Other varieties such as 'Blood Red Covent Garden' are easy to grow and often benefit from being sown and left to their own devices, growing on patches of empty land with little effort required to maintain them, providing aesthetically sound blooms which produce heady scents.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erysimum_cheiri

"Expo Tower"... will be the Symbol of Expo 2016 Antalya !

Here's the nice project from two young architects... for the Antalya Expo Tower !

This tower will be the symbol of Expo 2016 Antalya, and will stay the iconoc emblem of the city for the next generations, like the Eiffel tower for the city of Paris built for the World Expo in 1889.

Congratulation for the beautiful design, and this impressive modern flower, full of sense !

The construction of this tower of 96 meters height, and 44 meters at it's larger point, will start soon.


Minister Eker stated that project competition of Expo Tower, symbol structure, was concluded and made public. Eker also says, ’52 projects were applied. Among these projects symbolizing Üçkapılar and palm trees and designed by Serdar Kızıltaş, Melike Atay; the work has been deemed suitable of winner prize. The construction of this architectural project will be started in the forthcoming days. Expo Tower will be in 96 meters tall.’

Minister Eker giving information about other works at site, “External insulation of berm was completed. Planting is going to start in September. The insulation of EXPO Lake with the size of 80 decares has been completed and the bottom of lake has been covered with brook stones. The works about connection paths in site, drainage, irrigation line are in the progress. The works of square regulation and soil masonry to the EXPO Hill are also in the progress. The work of canalization collector line has been going on. The canalization problem of Aksu will have been solved with this collector line. 5 firms, 6 construction site facilities and hundreds of workers continue to their works at site.

Source : ww.tasarimyarismalari.com

2014 Qingdao International Horticultural Expo... video presentation !

and remember...
Horticultural Exhibition in Qingdao, China, until October 25, 2014 !

The International Horticultural Exhibition, the highest level of specialized international expo, is also known as the International Horticultural Festival. It is the largest A1 exhibition of horticultural wonders, the integration of cultural and technological achievements, through which participating countries can learn a lot from each other. It usually lasts six months from late spring to mid-autumn. Previous International Horticultural Exhibitions were mostly held in developed European countries and the United States. In Asia, Japan hosted four Expos, i.e, Expo 1970 in Osaka, Expo 1975 in Okinawa, Expo 1985 in Tsukuba, and Expo 1990 in Tsukuba, and South Korea hosted Expo 1993 in Taejon. 2014 Expo right now is in Qingdao China.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Flower of the day : Hyacinthus orientalis

Hyacinth (plant)‬

Hyacinthus is a small genus of bulbous flowering plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae.
Plants are commonly called hyacinths/ˈhaɪəsɪnθs/. The genus is native to the eastern Mediterranean (from south Turkey to northern Israel), north-east Iran, and Turkmenistan.
Several species of Brodiea, Scilla, and other plants that were formerly classified in the lily family and have flower clusters borne along the stalk also have common names with hyacinth in them. Hyacinths should also not be confused with the genus Muscari, which are commonly known as grape hyacinths.

Hyacinthus grows from bulbs, each producing around four to six linear leaves and one to three spikes (racemes) of flowers. In the wild species, the flowers are widely spaced, with as few as two per raceme in H. litwinovii and typically six to eight in H. orientalis, which grows to a height of 15–20 cm (6–8 in). Cultivars of H. orientalis have much denser flower spikes and are generally more robust.

The genus name Hyacinthus was attributed to Joseph Pitton de Tournefort when used by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. It is derived from a Greek name used for a plant by Homer, Ὑάκινθος (Hyakinthos), the flowers supposedly having grown up from the blood of a youth of this name accidentally killed by the god Apollo. (The original wild plant known as hyakinthos to Homer has been identified with Scilla bifolia.) Linnaeus defined the genusHyacinthus widely to include species now placed in other genera of the subfamily Scilloideae, such as Muscari (e.g. his Hyacinthus botryoides) andHyacinthoides (e.g. his Hyacinthus non-scriptus).
Hyacinthus was formerly the type genus of the separate family Hyacinthaceae; prior to that the genus was placed in the lily family Liliaceae.

Three species are placed within the genus Hyacinthus:
Hyacinthus litwinovii
Hyacinthus orientalis - Common, Dutch or Garden Hyacinth
Hyacinthus transcaspicus
Some authorities place H. litwonovii and H. transcaspicus in the related genus Hyacinthella,[9] which would make Hyacinthus a monotypic genus.

The Dutch, or Common Hyacinth of house and garden culture (H. orientalis, native to southwest Asia) was so popular in the 18th century that over 2,000 cultivars were cultivated in theNetherlands, its chief commercial producer. This hyacinth has a single dense spike of fragrant flowers in shades of red, blue, white, orange, pink, violet, or yellow. A form of the common hyacinth is the less hardy and smaller blue- or white-petalled Roman hyacinth of florists. These flowers should have indirect sunlight and are to be moderately watered.

Hyacinth bulbs are poisonous; they contain oxalic acid. Handling hyacinth bulbs can cause mild skin irritation. Protective gloves are recommended.

Hyacinths on a Haft-Seen table
Hyacinths are sometimes associated with rebirth. The hyacinth flower is used in the Haft-Seen table setting for the Persian New Year celebration,Nowruz, held during the Spring Equinox.[according to whom?]
In Greek mythology, Hyacinth was a beautiful youth loved by both the god Apollo and the West Wind, Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns at throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, but he was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died.[11] A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyrus responsible for the death of Hyacinth.[12] The youth's beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. Apollo did not allowHades to claim Hyacinth. Instead, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from Hyacinth's spilled blood.
In Homer's Odyssey (Book 6.231), Athena gives Odysseus "thick locks, akin to the hyacinth (ὑακίνθινος) flower" in order to win his way into the city of the Phaeacians.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Turkey reverses decision not to attend Expo 2015 Milano !!!

Turkey backtracked from its decision not to attend EXPO 2015, the world’s largest public exhibition to take place in Milan, after Italian President Matteo Renzi personally congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential victory.

The warm conversation between the two presidents resulted in Erdoğan’s removal of his veto on Turkish participation to the EXPO. The original veto had been issued in February, after Italy backed Dubai instead of Izmir for the EXPO 2020 bid.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a verbal note to the Italian government to confirm the change of decision, the Hürriyet Daily News has learned from diplomatic sources. The same sources indicated that this change was a direct result of the phone conversation between the two leaders.

Italy is currently serving as term president of the EU until the end of this year.

The technical details of Turkey’s participation in the EXPO are still evolving and will be decided during a technical mission, the sources stressed. Turkey has requested the same stand and space it had been granted by Italy before canceling its participation in February, despite the fact that the space has been given to another country.

A personal phone call from Italian President Matteo Renzi to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over his presidential election victory helped convince Turkey to reverse its decision not to attend EXPO 2015.

President removes PM’s veto

Turkey’s EXPO participation process has involved interesting foreign policy negotiations. The decision not to attend the EXPO was directly issued by then-Prime Minister Erdoğan. The foreign ministry was fully unaware of the decision and therefore of the process. When the Italian government approached the government to understand the cancellation, they were told about economic reasons although the main incentive was Italy’s decision to back Dubai instead of İzmir for the 2020 EXPO.

The Italian government then renewed its proposal to Turkey by making an important reduction of the cost Turkey had to pay for the stand and space from 15 million euros to 9 million. They did not receive a positive response from Erdoğan’s prime ministry, and this process occurred outside of the foreign ministry’s knowledge.

Renzi’s warm congratulatory phone call to Erdoğan and demand for Turkish participation in the EXPO brought about a positive response from President Erdoğan, who later informed the government to initiate the necessary procedures. This summarizes President Erdoğan’s turn from his own decision in his former capacity as prime minister.

İzmir and Milan had competed for the 2015 EXPO, ending with the Italian city’s victory. Turkey and Italy signed a Participation Protocol in 2012 for the EXPO, which will take place between May 1 and Oct. 31, 2015.

Italy’s term presidency 

Another reason why Erdoğan removed the veto could be Turkey’s renewed aspiration to accelerate the EU process and to open a negotiation chapter during Italy’s EU term presidency. Recently, Italy and Turkey have largely enjoyed good relations, and the former has traditionally been an advocate of Turkish accession to the European Union.

Italy took over the term presidency of the EU on July 1 and will likely play a crucial role in managing the bid to repair strained Ankara-Brussels relations.

Source : http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/

Thursday, 25 September 2014

History - Trees inside the Crystal Palace - Expo 1851 London

As we saw previously, flowers, plants were always part of World Expos... even in the first, held in London in 1851, the famous "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations".

Of course, outside the Crystal Palace... but also inside. A full size elm tree of the park was enclosed within the central exhibition hall near the 27-foot (8 m) tall Crystal Fountain.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Flower of the day : Tussilago farfara

Pic Courtesy Expo 2016 Antalya

Coltsfoot is a perennial herbaceous plant that spreads by seeds and rhizomes. Tussilago is often found in colonies of dozens of plants. The flowers, which superficially resemble dandelions, appear in early spring before dandelions appear. The leaves, which resemble a colt's foot in cross section, do not appear usually until after the seeds are set. Thus, the flowers appear on stems with no apparent leaves, and the later appearing leaves then wither and die during the season without seeming to set flowers. The plant is typically 10–30 cm in height.

Coltsfoot is native to several locations in Europe and Asia. It is also a common plant in North America and South America where it has been introduced, most likely by settlers as a medicinal item. The plant is often found in waste and disturbed places and along roadsides and paths. In some areas it is considered an invasive species.
In North America it occurs in the northeastern United States, the northwestern US state of Washington, southeastern Canada, the southwestern Canadian province of British Columbia, and the French overseas collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Other common names include tash plant, ass's foot, bull's foot, butterbur, coughwort (Old English), farfara, foal's foot, foalswort, horse foot and winter heliotrope. Sometimes it is confused with Petasites frigidus, or western coltsfoot.
It has been called bechion bechichie or bechie, from the Ancient Greek word for "cough". Also ungula caballina ("horse hoof"), pes pulli ("foal's foot"), and chamæleuce.

Traditional uses
Coltsfoot has been used in herbal medicine and has been consumed as a food product with some confectionery products, such as Coltsfoot Rock. Tussilago farfara leaves have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea or syrup) or externally (directly applied) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, locomotor system, viral infections, flu, colds, fever, rheumatism and gout.

Food source
Coltsfoot is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the gothic and small angle shades. The coltsfoot is also worked by the honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera).

Tussilago farfara contains tumorigenic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Senecionine and senkirkine, present in coltsfoot, have the highest mutagenetic activity of any pyrrolozidine alkaloid, tested using Drosophila melanogaster to produce a comparative genotoxicity test. There are documented cases of coltsfoot tea causing severe liver problems in an infant, and in another case, an infant developed liver disease and died because the mother drank tea containing coltsfoot during her pregnancy. In response the German government banned the sale of coltsfoot. Clonal plants of colstfoot free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids were then developed in Austria and Germany. This has resulted in the development of the registered variety Tussilago farfara Wein which has no detectable levels of these alkaloids

51th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival... and Expo 2016 Antalya

51th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Festival Director, Elif Dağdeviren visited by Selami Gülay, Secretary General of EXPO 2016 Antalya.

History - Flowers... and Expo'67 Montréal

Horticultural Expos or not, flowers were always there during the World Expos since the first.

A good example, here at the Montréal Expo'67, again a beautiful carpet of flowers, with behind, the famous and well known pavilion of USA, now named "Biosphere", this pavilion already exists today.

The Biosphère is a museum in Montreal dedicated to the environment. It is located at Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Île Sainte-Hélène in the former pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair Expo 67.

Biosphère Environment Museum
In August, 1990, Environment Canada purchased the site for $17.5 million to turn it into an interactive museum showcasing and exploring the water ecosystems of the Great Lakes-Saint Lawrence River regions.[4] The museum was inaugurated in 1995 as a water museum, and is a set of enclosed buildings designed by Éric Gauthier, inside the original steel skeleton. The Biosphère changed its name in 2007 to become an environment museum. It offers interactive activities and presents exhibitions about the major environmental issues related to water, climate change, air, ecotechnologies and sustainable development.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Flower of the day : Dicentra spectabilis / Lamprocapnos spectabilis

Pic courtesy Expo 2016 Antalya
Dicentra spectabilis

Lamprocapnos spectabilis (bleeding heart) is a species of flowering plant in the poppy family Papaveraceae, native to Siberia, northern China, Korea and Japan. It is the sole species in the monotypic genus Lamprocapnos, but is still widely referenced under its old name Dicentra spectabilis (now listed as a synonym). It is valued in gardens and in floristry for its heart-shaped pink and white flowers, borne in spring.

Other common names include "Dutchman's breeches", "lyre flower" and "lady-in-a-bath".

Growing to 120 cm (47 in) tall by 45 cm (18 in) wide, L. spectabilis is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial with 3-lobed compound leaves on fleshy green to pink stems. The arching horizontal racemes of up to 20 pendent flowers are borne in spring and early summer. The outer petals are bright fuchsia-pink, while the inner ones are white. The flowers strikingly resemble the conventional heart shape, with a droplet beneath - hence the common name. The pure white-flowered 'Alba', somewhat more robust than the species, is a popular cultivar.
A Spring ephemeral, the plant frequently dies down to its fibrous roots in summer.

History and legend
First plants specimens were introduced into England in the 1840s from Japan by the Scottish botanist and plant hunter Robert Fortune.
There is also a legend from Japan which tells a story of how the bleeding heart flower came to be. In the story, a young man tried win the love of a young lady. He did this by giving a pair of rabbits (which are the first two petals of the flower), a pair of slippers (which are the next two petals of the flower), and finally a pair of earrings (which are the last two petals of the flower) to the girl. She continued to reject his affections, and, heart-broken, he pierced his heart with his sword (the middle part of the flower) which caused the bleeding heart.

In a moist and cool climate, it will grow in full sun, but in warmer and drier climates it requires some shade.
Aphids, slugs and snails sometimes feed on the leaves.
Clumps of dicentra remain compact for many years and do not need dividing. They have brittle roots which are easily damaged when disturbed. Root cuttings should be taken in spring.
Seeds with whitish elaiosomes are borne in long pods. They must be sown while fresh. Division should be done in the late fall (autumn) or early spring.

Dance of Silk with Nature

The opening ceremony of picture exhibition named "The Dance of Silk with Nature" has been held today.

There is a big interest and participation for exhibition.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Flower of the day : Dahlia variabilis

Pic courtezy Expo 2016 Antalya

Dahlia (UK /deɪliə/ or US /dɑːliə/) is a genus of bushy, tuberous, herbaceous perennial plants native mainly in Mexico, but also Central America, and Colombia. A member of the Asteraceae (or Compositae), dicotyledonous plants, related species include the sunflower, daisy, chrysanthemum and zinnia. There are 42 species of dahlia, with hybrids commonly grown as garden plants. Flower forms are variable, with one head per stem; these can be as small as 2 in (5.1 cm) diameter or up to 1 ft (30 cm) ("dinner plate"). This great variety results from dahlias being octoploids—that is, they have eight sets of homologous chromosomes, whereas most plants have only two. In addition, dahlias also contain many transposons—genetic pieces that move from place to place upon an allele—which contributes to their manifesting such great diversity.

The stems are leafy, ranging in height from as low as 12 in (30 cm) to more than 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m). The majority of species do not produce scented flowers or cultivars. Like most plants that do not attract pollinating insects through scent, they are brightly colored, displaying most hues, with the exception of blue.

The dahlia was declared the national flower of Mexico in 1963. The tubers were grown as a food crop by the Aztecs, but this use largely died out after the Spanish Conquest. Attempts to introduce the tubers as a food crop in Europe were unsuccessful.

Perennial plants, with mostly tuberous roots. While some have herbaceous stems, others have stems which lignify in the absence of secondary tissue and resprout following winter dormancy, allowing further seasons of growth.

Early history
Spaniards reported finding the plants growing in Mexico in 1525, but the earliest known description is by Francisco Hernández, physician to Philip II, who was ordered to visit Mexico in 1570 to study the "natural products of that country". They were used as a source of food by the indigenous peoples, and were both gathered in the wild and cultivated. The Aztecs used them to treat epilepsy, and employed the long hollow stem of the (Dahlia imperalis) for water pipes. The indigenous peoples variously identified the plants as "Chichipatl" (Toltecs) and "Acocotle" or "Cocoxochitl" (Aztecs). From Hernandez' perception of Aztec, to Spanish, through various other translations, the word is "water cane", "water pipe", "water pipe flower", "hollow stem flower" and "cane flower". All these refer to the hollowness of the plants' stem.
Hernandez described two varieties of dahlias (the pinwheel-like Dahlia pinnata and the huge Dahlia imperialis) as well as other medicinal plants of New Spain. Francisco Dominguez, a Hidalgo gentleman who accompanied Hernandez on part of his seven-year study, made a series of drawings to supplement the four volume report. Three of his drawings showed plants with flowers: two resembled the modern bedding dahlia, and one resembled the species Dahlia merki; all displayed a high degree of doubleness. In 1578 the manuscript,entitled Nova Plantarum, Animalium et Mineralium Mexicanorum Historia, was sent back to the Escorial in Madrid; they were not translated into Latin by Francisco Ximenes until 1615. In 1640, Francisco Cesi, President of the Academia Linei of Rome, bought the Ximenes translation, and after annotating it, published it in 1649-1651 in two volumes as Rerum Medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus Seu Nova Plantarium, Animalium et Mineraliuím Mexicanorum Historia. The original manuscripts were destroyed in a fire in the mid-1600s.

European introduction
In 1787, the French botanist Nicolas-Joseph Thiéry de Menonville, sent to Mexico to steal the cochineal insect valued for its scarlet dye, reported the strangely beautiful flowers he had seen growing in a garden in Oaxaca. In 1789, Vicente Cervantes, Director of the Botanical Garden at Mexico City, sent "plant parts" to Abbe Antonio José Cavanilles, Director of the Royal Gardens of Madrid. Cavanilles flowered one plant that same year, then the second one a year later. In 1791 he called the new growths "Dahlia" for Anders Dahl. The first plant was called Dahlia pinnata after its pinnate foliage; the second, Dahlia rosea for its rose-purple color. In 1796 Cavanilles flowered a third plant from the parts sent by Cervantes, which he named Dahlia coccinea for its scarlet color.
In 1798, Cavanilles sent D. Pinnata seeds to Parma, Italy. That year, the Marchioness of Bute, wife of The Earl of Bute, the English Ambassador to Spain, obtained a few seeds from Cavanilles and sent them to Kew Gardens, where they flowered but were lost after two to three years.
In the following years Madrid sent seeds to Berlin and Dresden in Germany, and to Turin and Thiene in Italy. In 1802, Cavanilles sent tubers of "these three" (D. pinnata, D. rosea, D. coccinea) to Swiss botanist Augustin Pyramus de Candolle at University of Montpelier in France, Andre Thouin at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris and Scottish botanist William Aiton at Kew Gardens. That same year, John Fraser, English nurseryman and later botanical collector to the Czar of Russia, brought D. coccinea seeds from Paris to the Apothecaries Gardens in England, where they flowered in his greenhouse a year later, providing Botanical Magazine with an illustration.
In 1804, a new species, Dahlia sambucifolia, was successfully grown at Holland House, Kensington. Whilst in Madrid in 1804, Lady Holland was given either dahlia seeds or tubers by Cavanilles. She sent them back to England, to Lord Holland's librarian Mr Buonaiuti at Holland House, who successfully raised the plants. A year later, Buonaiuti produced two double flowers. The plants raised in 1804 did not survive; new stock was brought from France in 1815. In 1824, Lord Holland sent his wife a note containing the following verse:
"The dahlia you brought to our isle
Your praises for ever shall speak;
Mid gardens as sweet as your smile,
And in colour as bright as your cheek."
In 1805, German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt sent more seeds from Mexico to Aiton in England, Thouin in Paris, and Christoph Friedrich Otto, director of the Berlin Botanical Garden. More significantly, he sent seeds to botanist Carl Ludwig Willdenow in Germany. Willdenow now reclassified the rapidly growing number of species, changing the genus from Dahlia to Georgina; after naturalist Johann Gottlieb Georgi. He combined the Cavanilles species D. pinnata and D. rosea under the name of Georgina variabilis; D. coccinea was still held to be a separate species, which he renamed Georgina coccinea.

Since 1789 when Cavanilles first flowered the dahlia in Europe, there has been an ongoing effort by many growers, botanists and taxonomists, to determine the development of the dahlia to modern times. At least 85 species have been reported: approximately 25 of these were first reported from the wild, the remainder appeared in gardens in Europe. They were considered hybrids, the results of crossing between previously reported species, or developed from the seeds sent by Humboldt from Mexico in 1805, or perhaps from some other undocumented seeds that had found their way to Europe. Several of these were soon discovered to be identical with earlier reported species, but the greatest number are new varieties. Morphological variation is highly pronounced in the dahlia. William John Cooper Lawrence, who hybridized hundreds of families of dahlias in the 1920s, stated: "I have not yet seen any two plants in the families I have raised which were not to be distinguished one from the other. Constant reclassification of the 85 reported species has resulted in a considerably smaller number of distinct species, as there is a great deal of disagreement today between systematists over classification.
In 1829, all species growing in Europe were reclassified under an all-encompassing name of D. variabilis, Desf., though this is not an accepted name. Through the interspecies cross of the Humboldt seeds and the Cavanilles species, 22 new species were reported by that year, all of which had been classified in different ways by several different taxonomists, creating considerable confusion as to which species was which.
In 1830 William Smith suggested that all dahlia species could be divided into two groups for color, red-tinged and purple-tinged. In investigating this idea Lawrence determined that with the exception of D. variabilis, all dahlia species may be assigned to one of two groups for flower-colour: Group I (ivory-magenta) or Group II (yellow-orange-scarlet).

The inappropriate term D. variabilis is often used to describe the cultivars of Dahlia since the correct parentage remains obscure, but probably involves Dahlia coccinea.
In 1846 the Caledonia Horticultural Society of Edinburgh, offered a prize of 2,000 pounds to the first person succeeding in producing a blue dahlia. This has to date not been accomplished. While dahlias produce anthocyanin, an element necessary for the production of the blue, to achieve a true blue color in a plant, the anthocyanin delphinidin needs six hydroxyl groups. To date dahlias have only developed five, so the closest that breeders have come to achieving a "blue" specimen are variations of mauve, purples and lilac hues.
Dahlias grow naturally in climates which do not experience frost (the tubers are hardy to USDA Zone 8), consequently they are not adapted to withstand sub-zero temperatures. However their tuberous nature enables them to survive periods of dormancy, and this characteristic means that gardeners in temperate climates with frosts can grow dahlias successfully, provided the tubers are lifted from the ground and stored in cool yet frost-free conditions during the winter. Planting the tubers quite deep (10 – 15 cm) also provides some protection. When in active growth, modern dahlia hybrids perform most successfully in well-watered yet free-draining soils, in situations receiving plenty of sunlight. Taller cultivars usually require some form of staking as they grow, and all garden dahlias need deadheading regularly, once flowering commences.
To date, 99 dahlia cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit,

Source Wikipedia

International Association of Horticultural Producers - AIPH

What is the AIPH ?

The AIPH is a co-ordinating body representing horticultural producers' organizations all over the world. It was set up in Switzerland in 1948 to stimulate international marketing of flowers, plants and landscaping services. An increasing number of growers organizations have joined AIPH with 25 countries represented in 2000. They all share the benefits of their membership.


(Source: AIPH 1948 – 1988; book published on the occasion of 40 years of AIPH)

In 1948 the Association of Swiss Horticulture (‘Verband Schweizerischer Gärtnermeister’) celebrated its 50th anniversary. The well-known representatives of the growers’ associations of the other countries of Western Europe were invited to Zürich. In a meeting the decision was taken to recreate the international association ‘Union Horticole Professionelle Internationale’ which was established in 1909 but became extinct during the period of wars and economic crashes.

 The new organization was named: ‘Association Internationale des Producteurs de l’Horticulture’ (AIPH). The following countries were among the founders: Switzerland, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Hungary and Sweden. At a later stage Denmark and Italy joined, but Hungary and The United Kingdom stepped back. Hungary because it was absorbed into the Eastern Block, The United Kingdom probably because it did not feel able to reap immediate advantages from the international co-operation. In the sixties of the former century many new members joined AIPH as can be seen in the list.

As objectives for the new AIPH the following items were mentioned in the minutes of that meeting in 1948:

  1. promote flowers and work together with Fleurop;
  2. every country should organize an Expo to show its professional Horticulture sector;
  3. exchange addresses, magazines, films and technical materials;
  4. collect and compare information on production and sales between countries;
  5. understand the scientific and economical principles with the aim to establish an international planned economy;
  6. establish international exchange of young horticulturists for six months or even longer; this should underline the international co-operation.

During the meetings of the Committees and Council it was common to use three languages, French, German and English. Professional interpreters were always present and all documents appeared in these three languages. This lasted till the late nineties when it was decided to only use English as the official language within AIPH.

Structure of AIPH

The most important forum is the Council, in which each member-organization is represented by one person. The council elects and nominates the President and the Secretary General.
The Executive Committee is formed by the President, the Secretary General, the chairman from the standing committees and eight members representing six regions:

Denmark, Finland, Guernsey, The United Kingdom
Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands
Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland
Australia, P.R. China, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Japan, Rep. Korea, Thailand

More informations about AIPH