Dianthus carophyllus
Dianthus barbatus

Common name: Pink, Carnation, Sweet william

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Plant type Annual, biennial, perennial
Height 3 to 12 inches
Spread 6 to 12 inches
Habit Spreading, bushy
Foliage Evergreen
Growth rate Slow
Interests Flowers
Uses Borders, pots and tubs, rockery, cut flower
Skill level Beginner
Maintenance Slight
Hardiness 3
Heat zone
Sun Full sun
Moisture Dry to average
Soil type Slightly acid to slightly lime
Soil fertility Moderate
Water consumption Light to moderate
Site Sheltered to exposed
Flower colour Pink, purple, red, white
Flower season Late spring to mid summer
Flower size Medium
Foliage colour Green
Fruit colour
Edible parts
Harvest time
Features Scented flowers

The genus dianthus represents a number of types of plants including pinks, carnations and sweet williams. All are small plants, either perennial, biennial or annual with flat topped, pink or white flowers. Many varieties are suitable for a rock garden, others for the front of a perennial border or an annual bed. Some types are good in mixed planters.

Some types are scented and others are good as cut flowers, carnations being very popular in bouquets.

All dianthus require a well drained soil and a site in full sun. When planting perennial and rockery varieties incorporate extra grit into the soil.


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