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Carnation, Clove pink, Gilliflower, Pink
Standard carnations’ textural blossoms grow up to 3 inches in
diameter. These versatile flowers develop on strong, straight
stems. Most cultivars have a mildly spicy aroma.
Carnations are available in many colors including hues of white,
pink, red, salmon, orange,
yellow, green and violet as well as bicolors.
Carnations will last from seven to 21 days, depending on variety
and care and handling they receive.
Hundreds of varieties are available.
Carnations are available year-round.
REFRIGERATION Store these
flowers in a floral cooler at 33 F to 35 F and at a humidity
level between 90 percent to 95 percent. Open flowers can be
stored for two to four weeks, and bud-harvested flowers can be
stored for up to four to five weeks.
WATER Check water level
daily, and add warm flower-food solution as needed.
It is beneficial to recut stems every three to four days to
ensure effective water uptake.
Carnations are extremely sensitive to ethylene gas, which causes
petal wilting. Be sure your flowers have been treated at the
grower level or during transportation with an anti-ethylene
BLOOMS Harvested flowers are
graded by size and stem length. Watch for split calyces, caused
by sudden changes in growing conditions.
CONSUMER CARE TIPS Advise
customers to display these blossoms in a cool location, out of
direct sunlight and away from heat sources. If possible, the
blossoms should be put in the coldest room of the house at night
and misted for longer enjoyment.
CAUTION Ingestion can cause
minor illness, and frequent handling can cause dermatitis.
MEANING The name “carnation”
is from the Latin “carnis,” meaning “flesh,”
alluding to the pale pink color of some varieties. In Greek,
“dianthus” means “flower of Jove.”
FAMILY Carnations are
members of the Caryophyllaceae (pink) family. Close relatives
include baby’s-breath (Gypsophila), Lychnis and Silene (campion
ORIGINS Carnations are
native to cool, mountainous regions from southern Europe to
HISTORY Carnations are said
to have sprung up from Mary’s tears as she made her way to
Calvary. The pink carnation is the symbol of mother’s love and
of Mother’s Day. Carnations are one of the first mentioned
flowers in history
and were used in garlands by the Greeks and Romans.
GROWING REGIONS The U.S.
carnation industry started on Long Island, N.Y., in 1852, with
imported French carnations, and was then centered in the
Northeast. Today, the largest growing areas of carnations are in
Some information provided by:
The Chain of Life NetworkÆ,
The Society of American Florists’ Flower & Plant Care manual
The British National Carnation Society,
You may reach “Cut Flower of the Month” writer Steven W.
Brown, AIFD, at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (415) 239-3140.
Most images courtesy of Asocolflores, The Colombian
Association of Flower Exporters
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