is a genus of flowering plants in family Caryophyllaceae, comprising about 300 species. It is native to Europe and Asia with a few species in north Africa and one species ( D. repens
) in arctic North America. The name Dianthus derives from Greek word dios (meaning god) and anthos (meaning flower), and was cited by the Greek botanist Theophrastus ( 371-287 BC), successor of Aristottle in the Peripatetic (school of philosophy in ancient Greece) school.
Dianthus has a few common names such as Carnation (D. caryophyllus
), Pink ( D. plumarius
and related species) and Sweet William (D. barbatus
). Sweet William ( D. barbatus
) is found wild in Mediterranean region, while the Chinese and Indian Pinks have come from D.chinensis
. Dianthus is mostly annual or perennial subshrub. The leaves are opposite, linear and grey-green to blue-green in color. The flower have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin and are pale to dark pink. Some species have fragrant flowers.
Dianthus is also food plant for larvae of some Lepidoptera( butterflies and moths) species such as Cabbage Moth, Double-Striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwing and The Lychnis.
Dianthus is great for containers, gravel gardens or borders. Plant dianthus in sun, in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Propagation is by seed in autumn or cuttings in summer. Aphids, slugs and snails, viruses are the pests and diseases which like to attack the plant.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)