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Bishop of Llandaff

Phil92Phil92 Posts: 9
I am quite a keen dahlia grower but by chance/choice had never grown Bishop of Llandaff before. Having seen a magnificent display at a friends house last year I bought a pack of 3 tubers last winter and got them growing in the greenhouse. I planted them out early June.
The foliage is superb and dark as expected but now the flowers have appeared they are a dusky purple colour rather than the shocking orange I expected. they are also semi double. Having had a quick "google" there are pictures of both on the net (like mine are and, like what I expected).
Is there really such variation in a named variety and how can I guarantee the orange type (realise probably best to go get a cutting from my friends plants.


  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,506
    I would say my Bishop of LL are definitely red rather than orange, albeit sometimes the red that was labelled 'Vermilion' in my childhood paintbox. They start dark and get lighter as they age.  They do have more than a single layer of petals, but not as many as you would get in a semi-double and still look single :)
    David Howard is a good, strong orange, with dark leaves, though double flowers, and is a really good 'doer', strong and reliable. Sylvia is an orange pompom, also nice, but with green leaves, and also with green leaves,  mid height 'Ellen Huston' has single orange flowers. Another favourite of mine, 'Scura' has dark foliage,  and really bright, single orange flowers, but they are tiny for  a dahlia. I love this because it has a spreading, low growing habit, so you can bring it right to the front of the border, and loads of flowers. You sometimes have to hunt for a supplier.

  • FireFire Posts: 18,146
    I wonder if what you have is really Bishop of Llandaff.

  • micearguersmicearguers Posts: 625
    I'd like to put a word in for the Bishops Children (seed) strains of Dahlias. I grew them last year from seed for the first time and got a nice variety of reds, oranges and deep yellow. They were left in the ground and this year about 12 of them returned. Three  have been eaten by slugs, but the rest look like strong plants. I love not having to faff around with tubers, and it's a bonus if plants can be grown from seeds and produce viable seeds.
  • Phil92Phil92 Posts: 9
    Many thanks all
    Pretty sure from your comments that what I bought is not BofL (i.e. that beautiful dusky orange like the picture from FIRE above). Nevertheless it is quite a nice plant(s) so will keep. Picture of one my imposters below.
    Only way of avoiding a repeated disappointment is to take cuttings (which for dahlias is easy).
    Interested to hear if anybody else has the same experience though.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,490
    Definitely an imposter, shame, but tubers do get mixed up occasionally. It could be Bishop of Canterbury or some other dark non-Bishop series dahlia. Bishop of Llandaff is very bright red, not orange or dusky orange. It was the purest, strongest red and the tallest thing in my border, until I lost it last year following a cold winter. Interesting you see Fire’s as dusky orange, but we all perceive colour slightly differently 😊 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 771
    Hi Phil I think you’re dahlia might be Fascination, one of my favourites. I have a bed of about 12.  I love the colour, a vibrant pink,  and as it’s open flowered insects love it too.
    I also have Bish Llan. I’d call it’s colour bright red, vermillion as a poster said. 

    I’ve been caught out this year by having an incorrect variety delivered. I have a bed of purple dahlias, I spotted a newish variety called Creme de cassis and ordered 3 tubers early spring. Well they flowered and are bright orange! I bought from Thompson and Morgan. Credit where credits due they agreed to refund the cost within 24 hours of my raising the matter. 
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,445
    If you grow Bishops babies from seed they come up in various colours ,and you can pick the ones  you want to keep for the following year. The leaves are always dark, but one I had was finely cut, quite lacy, and I kept it for several years.  I bought a "strawberry pink"  Lindas baby last year. It turned out a deep purple pom pom type.
  • FireFire Posts: 18,146
    edited July 2021
    The colours in my picture might be slightly misleading. They are not at all orange - but a proper red. I find reds and whites quite hard to capture.
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