Dahlia Plant Specialists

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18th Surgical Hospital

Height - 4'
Blooms - 6"
Size/Form - B Semi-Cactus
Color - Variegated Lavender and Red
Introduced 2012

Great new bloom from John Kreiner. Plants are erect, blooms on strong stems. Developed in Georgia to withstand the heat.

The Story Behind a Dahlia Name: The breeder, John Kreiner from Atlanta relayed the story behind the name to us recently and it seems appropriate to share it this Veterans Day:

"During my time in Vietnam in 1966-1967 I was assigned as a "Dustoff" pilot (Dustoff was the name that medical evacuation helicopters were know as throughout the country) in Pleiku in the central highlands. The 18th Surgical Hospital was also located in Pleiku and it was the hospital that we brought wounded soldiers to when we picked them up from the field and division/ brigade clearing companies. Since we were the only medical units in Pleiku and we worked so closely together we knew many of the personnel serving in the 18th Surg. One day my helicopter got shot up and I was wounded in the foot so I was taken to the 18th to clean up my wound and sew it up. I stayed in the hospital overnight and then my unit evacuated me to another hospital down on the coast. So it has a special place in my life."
"In the 90's the hospital started having reunions in various areas of the country and I was invited to attend. At the one in San Francisco I suggested visiting the Dahlia Dell in Golden Gate Park and Deborah Dietz gave them a guided tour. They really enjoyed seeing the Dell and had more people attend that part of the reunion than any other during their time in San Francisco. I was asked if I could develop a flower and name it after the 18th Surgical Hospital and have it in time to be included in the book "The 18th Surgical Hospital" which was presented during the reunion this year held at West Point in September. It is a great book about the history of the unit and a picture of the flower is in the book. The unit was deactivated after the Vietnam war was concluded."
"I want to name another one "Dustoff" one of these days but it has to be red or red & white."

Thanks, John, for sharing your dahlia and its story with us!!