Form a Society

The American Dahlia Society is composed of over 70 independent, local dahlia societies that have associated themselves with the American Dahlia Society as either Affiliated or Participating societies. Individuals are encouraged to join the American Dahlia Society through one of these local societies. However, they may also join the American Dahlia Society directly, as an At Large Member and still enjoy all the benefits of membership.

The American Dahlia Society encourages the establishment of new societies wherever an interest in growing dahlias exists. For this purpose, the American Dahlia Society recognizes two types of local societies designated as Affiliated and Participating Societies.


Affiliated Society

Any local Dahlia Society, garden club or group of individuals with an interest in dahlias may become an Affiliated Society of the American Dahlia Society, Inc. upon approval of the Executive Board and payment of an annual affiliation fee as determined by the Executive Board. (Currently $35.00). Members of affiliated societies who join the American Dahlia Society must do so individually as At Large Members and do NOT receive the reduced membership rates available to members of Participating societies.


Participating Society

Any organization primarily interested in the dahlia may, upon approval of the Executive Board, become a Participating Society of the American Dahlia Society, Inc. Each Participating Society must contain in its membership a minimum of 10 paid members of the American Dahlia Society. For this purpose, a family membership in the American Dahlia Society counts as two members.

ADS Representative – The Vital Connection

Each Affiliated or Participating Society must designate one active member (with email) to be their ADS Representative, and to act as the official contact between the ADS and their local society. The name, address, phone number and email address of this person must be provided to the ADS Membership Chairman, Elva Sellens, and kept current.


Benefits of Associating with the American Dahlia Society

Associating your society with the American Dahlia Society entitles your group to the following benefits:

  • Affordable Group Liability Insurance for all meetings and events. (Virtually any venue where you could have a dahlia show requires that the society have liability insurance.)
  • One (1) copy of each quarterly issue of the ADS Bulletin.
  • One (1) copy of the latest annual Classification and Handbook of Dahlias.
  • An ADS Medal and Rosettes as prizes for your annual show. Space for society reports in each quarterly issue of the ADS Bulletin.
  • Space for your annual show results in the year-end Online Report.
  • Society listing (and a link to your website if appropriate) on the national ADS Website.
  • Society listing in the annual list of contacts for societies in the ADS Bulletin.
  • Support from other societies for mentors and judges.
  • Points of Contact with expert growers and hybridizers in your region and throughout North America.
  • Regular communications between the ADS Executive Board and your ADS Representative.
  • Access to the ADS Media Library.
  • Participation in the ADS Seedling Bench Evaluation Program.


Getting Started

To facilitate the formation of new local societies, a digital reference guide has been developed and is available without cost. It is titled “Forming a Local Dahlia Society”.  This guide includes examples of Bylaws and Constitutions, how to put on a show, as well as helpful hints and advice to develop a new society.

For additional information about forming a local society and the benefits of associating with the American Dahlia Society, please email your name, address and phone number to:

Sarina Lagor
New Society Coordinator