Dianthus plumarius flower
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus

About 300 species; see text

Dianthus alpinus
Sweet William Dwarf, Dianthus barbatus
Dianthus superbus

Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species (D. repens) in arctic North America. Common names include carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and sweet William (D. barbatus). The name Dianthus is from the Greek words dios ("god") and anthos ("flower"), and was cited by the Greek botanist Theophrastus.

The species are mostly perennial herbs, a few are annual or biennial, and some are low subshrubs with woody basal stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, mostly linear and often strongly glaucous grey-green to blue-green. The flowers have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin, and are (in almost all species) pale to dark pink. One species, D. knappii, has yellow flowers with a purple centre.

Dianthus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Cabbage Moth, Double-striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwing and The Lychnis. Also three species of Coleophora case-bearers feed exclusively on Dianthus; C. dianthi, C. dianthivora and C. musculella (which feeds exclusively on D. suberbus).

The color pink may be named after the flower, coming from the frilled edge of the flowers: the verb "pink" dates from the 14th century and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern" (maybe from German "pinken" = to peck). Source: Collins Dictionary. This verb sense is also used in the name of pinking shears.



Dianthus gratianopolitanus - the Cheddar Pink - was chosen as the County flower of Somerset in 2002 following a poll by the wild flora conservation charity Plantlife.[1]

Selected species

  • Dianthus alpinus - Alpine Pink
  • Dianthus amurensis - Amur Pink
  • Dianthus anatolicus
  • Dianthus arenarius - Sand Pink
  • Dianthus armeria - Deptford Pink
  • Dianthus barbatus - Sweet William
  • Dianthus biflorus
  • Dianthus brevicaulis
  • Dianthus burgasensis
  • Dianthus callizonus
  • Dianthus campestris
  • Dianthus capitatus
  • Dianthus carthusianorum - Carthusian Pink
  • Dianthus caryophyllus - Carnation or Clove Pink
  • Dianthus chinensis - China Pink
  • Dianthus cruentus
  • Dianthus deltoides - Maiden Pink
  • Dianthus erinaceus
  • Dianthus freynii
  • Dianthus fruticosus
  • Dianthus furcatus
  • Dianthus gallicus - French Pink or Jersey Pink
  • Dianthus giganteus
  • Dianthus glacialis
  • Dianthus gracilis
  • Dianthus graniticus
  • Dianthus gratianopolitanus - Cheddar Pink
  • Dianthus haematocalyx
  • Dianthus japonicus
  • Dianthus kladovanus
  • Dianthus knappii
  • Dianthus lusitanus
  • Dianthus microlepsis
  • Dianthus moesiacus
  • Dianthus monspessulanus - Fringed pink
  • Dianthus myrtinervius - Albanian Pink
  • Dianthus nardiformis
  • Dianthus nitidus
  • Dianthus pavonius
  • Dianthus petraeus
  • Dianthus pinifolius
  • Dianthus plumarius - Garden Pinks, Wild pink
  • Dianthus pungens
  • Dianthus repens - Boreal Carnation
  • Dianthus scardicus
  • Dianthus seguieri - Sequier's Pink
  • Dianthus simulans
  • Dianthus spiculifolius
  • Dianthus squarrosus
  • Dianthus subacaulis
  • Dianthus superbus - Large Pink
  • Dianthus sylvestris
  • Dianthus tenuifolius
  • Dianthus urumoffii
  • Dianthus zonatus



There are also many hybrids, eg. D. x allwoodii (D. plumarius × D. caryophyllus), which may be further crossed, eg D. x allwoodii 'Alpinus' (D. x allwoodii with D. alpinus). [2]

Common hybrids include:

  • Dianthus x hybrida 'Rainbow Loveliness' - Sweet Pink


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dianthus — Dianthus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dianthus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda ? Dianthus Dianthus carthusianorum y Dianthus deltoides …   Wikipedia Español

  • dianthus — [dī an′thəs] n. [ModL < Gr dios, divine (see DEITY) + anthos, a flower] any of a genus (Dianthus) of plants of the pink family, including the carnation and sweet william …   English World dictionary

  • Dianthus — Di*an thus, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?, gen. ?, Zeus + a nqos flower.] (Bot.) A genus of plants containing some of the most popular of cultivated flowers, including the pink, carnation, and Sweet William. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dianthus — (D. L., Nelke), Pflanzengattung aus der Familie der Caryophylleae Sileneae Diantheae, 2. Ordn. 10. Kl. L., mit röhrigem, fünfzähnigem, an der Basis von Schuppen umgebenem Kelche, 5 Blumenblättern, mit langem, schmalem Nagel, ohne Nebenkrone, 10… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Dianthus — L. (Nelke), Gattung aus der Familie der Karyophyllazeen, meist ausdauernde, oft halbstrauchige Kräuter mit meist grasartig schmalen, oft blaugrünen Blättern, schönen, roten oder weißen, häufig wohlriechenden Blüten in lockern oder gedrängten… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dianthus — Dianthus, Pflanzengattg., s Nelke …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Dianthus — Dianthus, Nelke od. Grasblume, eine an schönen Arten reiche Pflanzengattung, und unter diesen die Gartennelke allbekannt und beliebt. Sie gehört der Familie der Caryophyllaceae an (s. d. Art.), und bei Linné zur Decandria Digynia …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Dianthus — 1849, from Mod.L. (Linnaeus), from Gk. Dios, gen. of Zeus Zeus + anthos flower (see ANTHER (Cf. anther)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Dianthus — Dianthu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dianthus — Nelken Dianthus japonicus Systematik Ordnung: Nelkenartige (Caryophyllales) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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