The flower symbolism associated with the dahlia is dignity, elegance, forever thine. The Aztecs used dahlias as a treatment for epilepsy. Europeans used the dahlia as a source of food in the 1840s when disease destroyed the French potato crop. The dahlia is named after Swedish 18th-century botanist Anders Dahl. Dahlias are often grown for flower shows. The English name is derived from the flower name, from the surname of Swedish botanist Anders Dahl, meaning "valley," hence "dahlia flower" or "valley flower."