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Dianthus caryophyllus (dy-AN-thus ka-ree-OFF-i-lus)

Carnation, Clove pink, Gilliflower, Pink

Standard carnations’ textural blossoms grow up to 3 inches in diameter. Miniature, or spray, carnations’ blossoms are usually 1 inch to 2 inches across. Most cultivars have a mildly spicy aroma.

These versatile flowers 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 the care and handling they receive.

Carnations are available year-round. varieties Hundreds of varieties are available. The photos on this page are of new varieties introduced by carnation breeder HilverdaKooij B.V. of Aalsmeer, Holland. vase-life extenders

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 five weeks.

Check the water level daily, and add warm flower-food solution as needed. It is beneficial to recut the 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 product.

fun facts
WHAT'S IN A NAME 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. Their close relatives include baby’s breath (Gypsophila), Saponaria (soapwort), Lychnis and Silene (campion and catchfly).
HOME SWEET HOME Carnations are native to cool, mountainous regions from southern Europe to India.

Some information provided by:
The British National Carnation Society,
Chain of Life Network®,
Society of American Florists’, Flower & Plant Care manual

Photos courtesy of HilverdaKooij B.V.

Reach “Cut Flower of the Month” writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD, at or (415) 239-3140.

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2008
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.