Dianthus, also known as Carnation, is a genus of the Caryophyllaceae family mostly native to Europe and Asia. It contains about 300 species of annuals, perennials and subshrubs.
Most species have simple, narrow leaves and abundant flowers that come in many shapes and colors. Carnations are often spicily fragrant and long blooming, making them perfect for bouquets and gardens. They are valued for their beauty, charm, clove-like scent and long-lasting freshness.
The name “Dianthus” comes from the Greek words “dios” (“god”) and “anthos” (“flower”).
The common name “Carnation” was derived from the Latin word “incarnation,” meaning the incarnation of God.
It is also thought to be derived from the Latin word “caro “, which means “flesh”, in reference to the color of the first Carnations.
This beautiful flower has rich history and is deeply embedded in symbolism.
Dianthus is considered as the flower of the gods, a divine flower.
It symbolizes admiration, passion, capriciousness, affection, love and gratitude.
Interesting facts about Dianthus:
The Official Mother’s Day Flower
Nowadays, Carnation is the official flower of Mother’s Day in many cultures worldwide and it is traditionally associated with this occasion.
Mother’s Day traditions began with Anna Maria Jarvis (1864 – 1948), who was the founder of Mother’s Day in the United States. She started the trend of wearing Carnation to honor her mother who passed away. After her mother’s death, Anna organized a memorial service in which she sent 500 white Carnations to all the mothers in attendance. The white Carnations was her mother’s favorite flowers. In 1912, Anna formed the Mother’s Day International Association to promote the day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924) signed Proclamation 1268, creating a national holiday on the second Sunday in May. Today, Jarvis’ legacy lives on in our annual Mother’s Day celebration, honoring all mothers as the heroes of family life.
Carnation in Christianity
In Christianity, it is believed the Carnation appeared after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, from each spot where Virgin Mary’s tears fell to the ground. It became a symbol for the suffering of Jesus Christ.
Benefits and Uses
Carnation has been brewed into tea and used as a remedy to reduce fever, stomach aches, chest congestion, female hormonal imbalances and to restore energy.
It was also used to relieve stress, fatigue, depression, insomnia and to treat skin irritations and wrinkles.
Carnations have a rich history that dates back more than 2000 years.
They have inspired many artists throughout history, from ancient Greek and Roman times till today.
Carnations were often used in ancient Greek for ceremonial crowns.
Carnations are one of the most popular wedding flowers. They are pretty, attractive, long-lasting and inexpensive.
Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs
The flowers come in shades of red, pink, purple and white or combinations of these colours. Cultivated species are available in a wider range of colors.
Spring, Autumn, Summer
Their height range from just 10 cm to 90 cm (4 inches to 3 ft).
Carnation prefers rich and well drained soil. The ideal soil pH is somewhere between 6.0 and 7.5.