(dii-an' thuss)

Common name: Pinks, Carnations

Family: Caryophyllaceae, Dianthus

Height x width: 6-24" x 12-24"

Growth rate, habit: moderate to fast; low upright to lower spreading

Foliage: green to gray-green, opposite, entire, usually linear, often glaucous

Flowers: most colors, summer, solitary or few-flowered inflorescence

Hardiness: zones 3-4 to 7-8

Soil: well-drained, slightly alkaline preferred

Light: sun

Pests and problems: bacterial blight, fungal wilt, stem rot, leaf spots, rusts, viruses, aphids, thrips, mites

Landscape habit, uses: rock gardens, old-fashioned gardens, scented gardens, fronts of borders

Other interest: common name from often notched flower petals resembling cuts by British "pinking shears"; 5 classifications by Royal Horticulture Society by flowering habit--those here in the "pinks"; widely bred, hundreds of cultivars

Other culture: some readily self-sow

Propagation: seed usually easiest, terminal cuttings best for thick-stemmed species


Allwoodii Alpinus Group (all-wood' ee-ii)--Allwood Pinks, zones 4-8, 12-20" x 1', various color flowers in 2's in summer, gray foliage, from original breeding in 1920's by British grower of same name, flower with varying degrees of spicy fragrance, mostly double

alpinus (al-pine' us)--Alpine Pink, zones 3-7, 3-6" x 1', pink solitary flowers in late spring, green foliage, clump-forming, prefers summers below 85ºF

barbatus  (bar-baa' tuss)--Sweet William, zones 3-8,10-18" x 1',various color flowers in clusters in late spring, green foliage, a biennial but self sows readily, named after British historic figure William, Duke of Cumberland (photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

deltoides (del-toy' dees)--Maiden Pinks, zones 3-8, 6-12" x 24", red to rose flowers in 2's in summer, green foliage, forms loose mats of groundcover rapidly

gratianopolitanus (gra-tee-an-ah-pol-ee-taa' nus)--Cheddar Pinks, zones 3-8, 9-12" x 12", rose to pink solitary and fragrant flowers in spring, gray foliage, named for a native habitat Cheddar Gorge in England

knappii (nap' pee-ii)--Hairy Garden Pink, zones 3-7, 15-24" x 15", page yellow flowers in clusters in summer, green foliage, short-lived but reseeds readily

plumarius (pluu-mar' ee-us)--Cottage or Grass Pinks, zones 3-8, 18-24" x 12", various flower colors in 2's in early summer, green foliage, similar too and often mixed with Allwood types

simulans (sim' uu-lans)--Bulgarian Pink, zones 3-7, 3" x 6-12", deep rose sparse flowers in spring, tight bluish-green buns, good alpine

Cultivars, other taxa species flowers other
'Albus' deltoides clear white  
'Aqua' -- white, double, fragrant 10-12", late spring
'Bath's Pink' gratianopolitanus  soft pink, fringed heat tolerant
'Becky Robinson' Allwood Group rosy-pink blue-green foliage, 12-18"
'Blue Hills' -- magenta, double 4-5", blue foliage
'Brilliant' deltoides scarlet-red  
'Candy Dish' -- pink/red, double, fringed 10-12", blue foliage
'Dad's Favorite' -- white, red fringes old
'Danielle-Marie' -- salmon, double 12-15", spring
'Doris' Allwood Group salmon, darker eye fragrant, popular, 12-18"
'Double Midget' barbatus mix 4-6" tall
'Double Tall' barbatus mix, double, semidouble 15-18" tall
'Essex Witch' -- pink, semidouble, fragrant  compact
'Feuerhexe' (Fire Witch) gratianopolitanus bright magenta low, blue foliage
'Fire Witch':'Feuerhexe'      
'Flashing Light':'Leuchtfunk'      
'Frosty Fire' -- red, double, long bloom 6", COPF intro.
'Helen' -- pink, double 10-12"
'Her Majesty' -- white, double, fragrant compact gray foliage
'Hoffman's Red' -- bright red, single green foliage
'Ian' -- red, double, long bloom 15-18" tall
'Inchmery' -- pale pink, fragrant 8-10" tall
'Inshriach Dazzler' -- chrome-red  
'Karlicks' -- rose, fringed, fragrant compact gray foliage
'La Bourboule' -- pink, single, fringed 3", silver-blue foliage
'Leuchtfunk' (Flashing Light) deltoides deep ruby-red  
'Little Bobby' -- raspberry red, dark eye compact, bluish foliage
'Little Boy Blue' -- white, pink center, single silver-blue mat foliage
'Maiden Pink' deltoides pink 8-15" tall
'Margaret Curtis' -- pink, red eye 15" tall, old
'Mars' Allwood Group deep pink, double 3-6" tall
'Mrs. Holt' -- pink, single blue-gray foliage, alpine
'Mrs. Sinkins' Allwood Group white, double, fragrant old but popular, 12-18"
'Nelli' deltoides dark red 8-15" tall, dark foliage
'Old Spice' -- salmon, fringed, fragrant 10-12" tall
'Petite' gratianopolitanus pink, small 4" tall  
'Pike's Pink' -- pink, double 4" tall, 1' spread
'Robespierre' -- pink/red, double 8-10", steel-blue foliage
'Robin' -- salmon, double 15" tall
'Rose Dawn' -- rose, double, small alpine, gray-green foliage
'Snowbank' -- white, double, fragrant 8-10" compact clumps
'Splendens' gratianopolitanus red compact, June bloom  
'Spotlight' -- crimson, double 12-15" tall
'Spotti' -- white, 2 rose spots 8", compact
'Spring Beauty' -- bicolors, singles, doubles 10" tall
'Sweet Memory' -- white, pink eye, semidouble 10-12" tall  
'Tiny Rubies' gratianopolitanus deep pink, double popular
'Vampire' deltoides carmine-red  
'Warbonnet' -- maroon, double 15-18", summer bloom
'White Hills' - white 4-6", gray-green foliage
'Zing Rose' deltoides deep red, large  

'Firewitch' photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden plantfinder)

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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