Caitlin's Joy 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.
Caitlin's Joy specifically is a phenomenal color. I have nursed several obsessions with this flower over the years. It's true, I am a sucker for this color family--the apricot, coral, with a hint of mauve realm. She's got a lot of similarities to Jowey Winnie in color feel, though Caitlin is a smaller bloom with the Cornel Family stems. In all the literature she's listed as a pink, but that does nothing to actually describe this color. While there is some natural color variation throughout the season from more apricot in the spring to more coral in the fall, the most remarkable aspect of Caitlin's Joy's coloring is the warm apricot/coral petal-fronts, and the fuschia petal-reverse. It's really easy to lose yourself for a moment while letting your mind try to understand what you're seeing. From a distance she looks like a peachy/pinky/apricot bloom with a mauve eye, which is such a perpetually popular color with florists, market customers, home gardeners, and everyone else. All that combined with the stellar cornel family traits, this is a superb dahlia.
In many of the later photos of this dahlia, she's shown with Isabel. Caitlin's Joy is the more apricot one, and Isabel leans more toward lavender.
*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.