Carnations Make a Comeback


| 2/17/2017 3:35:00 PM


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In my seed stash for the first time this year is Dianthus caryophyllus, also known as the common, lowly, oft-scoffed-at, carnation. 

Up until a few years ago, this supermarket-stand flower had sunk to a most disrespectful low in the eyes of gardeners, florists and would-be brides. And for shame!

With its Latin name translating to “divine flower” and a storied history of cultivation that spans 2,000 years to its earliest mentions in Rome, Dianthus certainly deserves a spot in the modern cutting garden.

From an industry standpoint, carnations as a crop come second in value only to the ever-reigning rose. Most of today’s florists are styling carnations grown under glass in Columbia or Peru, and they bear little resemblance to the glorified specimens that graced famous gardens hundreds and hundreds of years ago.

 



antique botanical illustration



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