It was a new cultivar in 1867. The American Agriculturist v.26 gave the credit to a fellow named Henderson. He created the beautiful flower depicted in this imperial dahlia drawing.
They must have been stunning in person – the center is yellow and surrounded by petals with scarlet centers, yellow petals with white stripes.
Like so many of these vintage engravings, the imperial dahlia drawing was showing it’s age. With the help of some photo editing software, I’ve removed some of the age spots and places where the ink went down unevenly. Now, we have a wonderful floral illustration just begging to be colorized. And, the scan was large enough that you can easily fill a page with this vintage drawing.
Color it like the original flower or let your imagination create your own new cultivar.
The illustration shown below is a slightly smaller version. Just click on the imperial dahlia drawing to retrieve the full-sized version.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.