Pinks, Carnation

This genus consists of annuals, biennials and herbaceous perennials. There are over 300 species but only about 30 are used in landscapes. Pinks and Carnations have fragrant flowers while the most common biennial, Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is not fragrant.

The generic name is from the Greek word, dios, meaning the Greek gods Zeus or Jove and the term, anthos, meaning flower. Literally, it translates to Jove's flower.



Dianthus x allwoodii Allwood's Pinks
D. alpinus Alpine Pinks
D. arenarius Sand Pinks
D. armeria Deptford Pinks
D. x arvernensis Auvergne Pinks
D. barbatus Sweet William
D. brevicaulis Taurus Pinks

D. carthusianorum

Clusteilsead Pinks

D. caryophyllus Border Carnation
D. chinensis Chinese Pinks
D. deltoides Maiden Pinks
D. giacialis      Lee Pinks
D. graniticus Granite Pinks Bearing
D. gratianapolitanus Cheddar Pinks
D. knappii Hardy Garden Pinks
D. x latifolius Button Pinks
D. myrtinentius  
D. pavonius Glacier Pinks
D. petraeus noeanus  
D. plumarsus Border Pinks, Cottage Pinks, Grass Pinks, Scotch Pinks

D. superbus    

Lilac Pinks
D. x winteri  

Species Foliage
Flowers Flower
D. x allwoodii gray 12-20 2 feets various
D. alpinus green 3-6 solitary pink
D. barbatus green 10-18 clusters various
D. deltoides green 6-12 2 feets red, pink
D. gratianapolitanus gray 9-12 solitary rose, pink
D. knappii green 15-24 clusters yellow
D. plumarsus gray 18-24 2 feets various

* Guides and Keys are from the book "Herbaceous Perennial Plants A Treatise on their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes" by Dr Allan M. Armitage of the University of Georgia. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia. 1989 ISBN 0-942375-00. More on Dr Armitage and his other books.

This genus is often divided into 5 general classes:

1. Grass Pinks - low, tufted plants, sometimes with fragrant foliage.
2. Maiden Pinks - cling close to the ground, forming dense mats of foliage (D. deltoides)
3. Biennials - Sweet William (D. barbatus) with rounded flower-heads.
4. Carnation - (D. caryophyllus) greenhouse plant.
5. Other species not grown frequently.


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