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Dianthus barbatus

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Common names: CARNATION, PINK, SWEET WILLIAM

Native to: Balkans, Carpathians, Pyrenees, Southern Europe, Widely Naturalized

Sentiments: dianthus means make haste, pink means pure love

Plant

Type: perennial

Forms: clumping, erect, open form

Leaves evergreen

Max height: 2.3 feet

Max width: 2.3 feet

Flower

pink

Leaf

green

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, hummingbird, specific butterfly species

Plant part consumed by birds: nectar

Plant features: evergreen

Exposure: sun

Landscape uses: container, cut flower

Propagates by: seed

flowers in summer

Soil type: well drained

USDA Zones: zone 4 -30 f, zone 5 to -20 f, zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f

Temp. range: -30 to +30 °F

Water: regular

  • Dianthus barbatus 2
  • Dianthus barbatus 3
  • Dianthus barbatus 4 2
  • Dianthus barbatus 4 3
  • Dianthus barbatus 4

Dianthus, or PINKS, is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family. There are 442 species in the genus of which 8 are cultivated perennials – arenarius, barbatus, carthusianorum, caryophyllus, deltoids, gratianopolitanus, knappii, and pulmarius. There are also numerous cultivars available such as Telstar, Raspberry Swirl, Pixie Star, and Spangled Star. All require regular watering, grow 1-1 ½ feet tall, can be grown in containers, and variously thrive in Zones 3-10.

Dianthus barbatus has a magenta colored blossom and is offered in the market place in a dizzying array of flower colors including variegated and pinker varieties. Phytoimages has a photo of the named species.

Dianthus attracts: Papilio rutulus, WESTERN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL

Papilio rutulus
Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

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