Cornel Dahlia Tuber
Okay, the Cornel Family. Let's talk about it.
There are, to my knowledge, 5 dahlias that are all sports* of the original Cornel. All of them with the same great, practically weather-proof ball form, epic productivity, super long strong stems that don't require support (though it is recommended if you're in a windy spot), and nearly winter-proof tuber storage.
- Cornel (Red)
- Cornel Bronze (Bronze)
- Ivanetti (Wine red)
- Caitlin's Joy (Pink) (though really, way cooler than just pink!)
- Isabel (Lavender)
If you're a grower looking for beautiful, relatively easy, production-flowers that will yield an mind-blowing amount of salable blooms in the perfect size for bouquets without any of the fussiness of larger blooms, these are your go to. This is where I recommend all new growers start.
Or if you're a gardener who just wants something pretty and easy that will bloom their heads off for you all season in a great display of color, any of these are going to fit the bill, and be a great starting place for your dahlia collection.
Cornel specifically is RED. Like red lips, cherries, blood. Not super bright, though, not like fire engines, there's much more depth than that--he's great in fall color pallets, and is a great stand in for red roses. There isn't any hint of purple in this color, which is often a hard line that florists won't cross when looking for red. To the average person, you might be thinking there's hardly any difference between the original Cornel and Ivanetti, but they've got a very different undertone. In my own arranging they hold very different purposes, and I've had many interactions with florists over the years where Cornel was right for their palette and Ivanetti was wrong, or vice versa. It's all in that hint of purple for Ivanetti, or the deep, clear red of Cornel.
*A sport is a spontaneous genetic mutation without much rhyme or reason. From what I have observed in my gardens over the years, sporting often has to do with coloring, while much of the rest of the traits of the dahlia remain the same.