Dianthus 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. These plants 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.

Name meaning

The name “Dianthus” comes from the Greek words “dios”, which means “god” and “anthos”, meaning “flower”. It is literally translated as the “heavenly flower”.

Dianthus symbolism

Dianthus has rich history and is deeply embedded in symbolism.

This beautiful flower is considered as the flower of the gods, a divine flower.

It symbolizes admiration, passion, capriciousness, affection, sadness and death, as well as love and gratitude.

Dianthus can also symbolize pride, harmony and family unity.

Interesting facts about Dianthus

Different Varieties of Dianthus

There are many varieties within the Dianthus genus, and some of the most popular varieties include Dianthus caryophyllus (Carnation or Clove Pink), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William), Dianthus chinensis (China Pink), Dianthus deltoides (Maiden Pink) and Dianthus plumarius (Garden Pink).

If you want to know more about popular varieties of Dianthus, check out our article on 5 Most Beautiful Varieties of Dianthus.

Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus)

Dianthus caryophyllus, widely known as Carnation or Clove Pink, is the most popular variety of Dianthus.

The common name Carnation is thought to be derived from the Latin “corone”, which means a “garland” or “crown”, since the flowers were used to make ceremonial crowns in Greece.

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.

Some believe that the word “carnation” was derived from the Latin word “incarnation”, meaning the incarnation of God.

Benefits and Uses of Carnation

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.

They are one of the most popular wedding flowers. They are pretty, attractive, long-lasting and inexpensive.

These flowers are also popular funeral flowers around the world.

Carnations are widely cultivated for their use as cut flowers and as garden plants. Check out our article to learn more about how to grow and care for Carnations.

Dianthus Plant Data