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Dianthus Caryophyllus, Carnation - Giant Chabaud Red Etincellan


Giant Chabaud Red Etincellan produces large frilled double flowers with pleasant fragrance.

A very ornamental plant, the carnation is widely cultivated in the flower garden and is grown commercially in France for its essential oil.

Succeeds in a sunny position in most good soils tolerating a pH range from 6 to 8 but disliking acid soils. A very tolerant plant, succeeding in the salt laden air and strong winds of the coast as well as in the sulphur polluted air of cities.

An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. It is used in perfumery. 500kg of flowers produce 100g of oil. The flowers are harvested when they are fully open in the morning, preferably after 3 hours exposure to sunlight.

The flower heads are dried and used in pot-pourri, scented sachets and cosmetic products.

The plant is quite rich in saponins. The leaves can be simmered in water and this water can then be used as a soap for cleaning the skin, clothes etc.

Carnation flowers are an aromatic, stimulant herb that has been used in tonic cordials in the past to treat fevers, though this use is now obsolete.

The flowers are very attractive to butterflies and moths.

Edible uses
The flower petals have a strong smell of cloves and are candied, used as a garnish in salads, for flavouring fruit, fruit salads etc. They can also be used as a substitute for rose petals in making a syrup. The petals should be removed from the calyx and their bitter white base should be removed.

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