Dahlia, the representative flower of Mexico.

Discover why Mexican lands bloom proudly with the Dahlia, the representative flower of Mexico.

Mexico is known as one of the countries with the most natural resources, such as different ecosystems, vegetation, flora and fauna. Each corner of Mexican culture has a diversity of colors, sounds and aromas that tend to represent a story within the Mexican spirit.

Among its representations is the dahlia, Mexico’s national flower since 1963 when president Adolfo López Mateos named it by decree “Symbol of National Floriculture in all its species and varieties”, designating August 4 as the National Day of the Dahlia.

Yellow dahlia.
Photography: Alexas_Fotos Pixabay.

Did you know that these flowers were the favorite flowers of Moctezuma II and Nezahualcóyotl? Mexicas that represented an important role for the people in pre-hispanic times, a time when dahlias were used to decorate houses, temples and also as inspiration to decorate vessels, personal ornaments such as necklaces and elements that were used in ritual times.

According to the investigations of the Mexican archaeologist Laura Ortiz Tenorio, the Mexicas deposited different species of flowers, including the Dahlia, in their offerings to the gods, such as the god of war: Huitzilopochtli.

Representation of the old Templo Mayor in Mexico City, in an illustration from 1900.
Photography: Dea Picture Library (Agostini via Getty Images)

They chose beautiful, aromatic and brightly colored flowers to attract the attention of the gods, feed them with their delicious aromas and for the meaning that associated them with war and death.

The Dahlia has been used for medicinal purposes, to dye cotton garments with its petals, to create aromatic mixtures, and even to use its tubers for some dishes, which are of great benefit to the intestinal flora.

Thanks to the constant use of the Mexicas, the flower was domesticated, cultivated, crossed and as a result they produced a diversity of types of Dahlias. Currently, there are 43 species in the American continent and 35 species are endemic to Mexico.

Dahlias nature.
Photography: Alexa_Fotos Pixabay.

It blooms mostly in the months of June and October and is one of the most cultivated flowers in the world, occupying the second position behind the tulip in Holland. Today its main use is decorative and in some states of the Mexican Republic there are extension projects to the field and diffusion of dahlia sweet potato.

The Mexicas named it in náhuatl as atlcocotlixochitl or acocóxitl, which means flower of the water stems”. The dahlia, the representative flower of Mexico.

Pink dahlia.
Photography: AnnaER Pixabay.