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The Dahlia, a native of Mexico, is a common sight in cultivated gardens in both America and Europe. They are grown from tubers (which are actually edible, and were briefly cultivated as an alternative to the potato. Dahlias come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, and can almost always be counted on to be prolific bloomers. In Mexico, they were grown by the Aztecs, under the name "cocoxochitl," and were named "Dahlia" in Europe after a Swedish botanist, Dr. Anders Dahl. Where to Learn More: 100 Flowers has a fascinating section on Dahlias, from the French smuggled out of Mexico, to their being stolen from the gardens of the Empress Josephine. In literature, they appear significantly in Graham Greene's Travels With My Aunt, in which the cultivation of dahlias is the only hobby of the narrator before the appearance of his mysterious aunt.

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