All dahlias belong to certain categories. They are placed according to size, type & color.
Here are some tips on what the abbreviations you see in the dahlia descriptions stand for.
The petals (ray florets) are generally flat, broad & smooth in a regular arrangement that recurve toward the stem. The petal tips are preferably round or extending to a slight point. The ideal depth is 3/4 the diameter of the bloom & should not be greater than it's diameter. The dahlia below (White Alvas) is a good example of this type.
The petals (ray florets) are twisted, curled or wavey & of uniform size in irregular arrangement. They may be partly involute or revolute but no portion should be fully revolute or involute except at the tip of the ray floret. The ideal depth is 3/4 the diameter of the bloom & should not be greater than it's diameter. The dahlia below (Wyn's Farmer John) is a good example of this type.
Petals (ray florets) are broad at the base, straight or incurved & relexed toward the stem in a regular & uniform arrangement. Ray florets will be revolute for approximately 1/2 their length & fully revolute (touching or overlapping) for at least 1/4 their length. The ideal depth is 3/4 the diameter of the bloom & should be no greater than it's diameter. The dahlia below (Wyn's Sensation) is a good example of this type.
Petals (Ray Florets) are narrow at the base, straight, uniform in length & reflex toward the stem, radiating uniformly in all directions from the center. They will be revolute for the majority of their length & fully revolute (touching or overlapping) for approx. 1/2 their length. A depth of about 3/4 the diameter is ideal for this form. Wyn's Fiesta is a good example of this type.
IC= Incurved Cactus
Petals (ray florets) are pointed, uniform in length; they uniformly curve toward the face of the bloom, are revolute for the majority of their length and are fully revolute for at least 1/2 their length. Because the ray florets curve toward the face of the bloom, they usually lack the depth of cactus form. A depth of 1/2 the diamter or slightly more is ideal for this form. Although the general direction of the ray florets is up and away from the stem, there may be an arc to the rays downward & then up. The involucre is rarely if ever covered. The dahlia below (Wyn's Spicy) is a good example of this type.
How do I enter a dahlia into a show that isn't in the classification book?
We get asked this question all the time. In some shows the judges will just set back an entry if they can't find it in the Classification Book- or in the Composite Listing. To be sure your entry is judged all you have to do is, before the show, have a Senior Judge classify it for you & put their initials in the top corner of the entry card. You can fill out your entry card with the information supplied from the seller of the dahlia & the judge just has to make sure it's all correct. If the Senior Judge doesn't agree with the classification then you'll have to get the form on page 95/96 of your Classification Book (2008 book) filled out. The day before the show is a better time than the day of the show to get the form filled out. Once you have the form in hand for a particular dahlia, make copies of it to take to other shows so that all you have to do at other shows is give the form to a Senior Judge so they can initial your entry card. The completion of the form especially aids the person who records blue ribbons & higher & the Classification chair who records all of the information for the annual classification book.