Heirloom & Perennial Ltd

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Dianthus Collection: Sweet Williams, Pinks, Carnations, Chinese Pinks & Fringed Pink.


5 different types of Dianthus:

Sweet Williams, Dianthus Barbatus: a very ornamental plant, its flowers are very attractive to butterflies and moths. The flowers have a strong clove-like scent. Plants self-sow freely when grown in a suitable position.

Although the Sweet William is a perennial species, it is quite short-lived and degenerates after its second year. It is best treated as a biennial in the garden.

The flowers have a mild flavour and are used as a garnish for vegetable and fruit salads, cakes, desserts, cold drinks etc.

Pinks, Dianthus Plumarius: flowers are very fragrant, diffusing a powerful clove-like scent. Individual plants become rather untidy after a few years and are best replaced every 2 - 4 years. 

The petals are made into cordials, syrups, sauces, vinegars etc.

Carnations, Dianthus Caryophyllus: a very ornamental plant, the carnation is widely cultivated in the flower garden and is grown commercially in France for its essential oil.

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.

The flower petals have a strong smell of cloves and are candied, used as a garnish in salads, for flavouring fruit, fruit salads etc.

Chinese Pinks, Dianthus Chinensis: a very ornamental plant, it is usually biennial in habit, but can be a short-lived perennial. Since these flower freely in their first year and then degenerate, they are usually treated as annuals.

The Chinese pink has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary systems and also the bowels.

Fringed Pink, Dianthus Superbus: The flowers have a soft sweet perfume. The leaves, stems and tops are boiled, steeped in water and eaten as a potherb. Young plants are also eaten.

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