Variety Comparison: AC Ben and Terracotta

AC Ben and Terracotta dahlias: these two varieties could be mistaken for each other on their own, but side by side, it’s easy to tell them apart due to their significant size difference. Let’s compare these two!

Aptly named, “Terracotta” dahlias bloom in a lovely, warm, terra-cotta color, without much color variation from bloom to bloom throughout the season. Its 5″-6″ semi-cactus flowers are sizable and strong, with stems and tough petals that can endure the demands of market bunches/bouquets.
AC Ben,” hybridized by Ken Greenway of Accent Dahlias in Snohomish, Washington, is truly a giant semi-cactus dahlia. With 10″+ blooms that stay giant-size through the end of the season, “AC Ben” has strong stems to hold up its enormous heads. This dahlia is a sunset all on its own, with warm ombre shades of peach, coral, and buttery yellow, and more color variation than “Terracotta.”
Terracotta” is one of our most vigorous growers, shooting to an easy 60″ and hanging out there despite pinching and regular deep flower cutting. “AC Ben” is a smaller plant, topping out at 36″ for us, but it doesn’t feel stocky or short despite its gigantic blooms. Both plants have a nice growing habit.
Both are good tuber producers as well. However Terracotta is one of our top tier tuber producers, but AC Ben’s prolific tubers are often very big, making finding salable ones a challenge. (We can’t sell tubers that are too big for our boxes!)

AC Ben (L) and Terracotta (R)

The Saturday before Thanksgiving 2023, we finished digging all of our dahlias 🥳 (about 50,000 this year!). While keeping them organized and safely stored all fall and winter is a big, detailed task, it’s worth it to have so many varieties available in the growing season. We can compare blooms side by side for height and vigor, and can observe how they change throughout the season. The added benefit of growing and comparing the genetics of the 700+ named varieties here at Triple Wren (as well as their seedlings!) is giving us years of rich data to create a living, growing body of knowledge about these amazing plants!