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Dianthus barbatus 'Hollandia Mix'

(Sweet William)

Common Names

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Common Names in English:

Sweet William


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Family Caryophyllaceae

Herbs annual or perennial , rarely subshrubs or shrubs . Stems and branches usually swollen at nodes. Leaves opposite, decussate, rarely alternate or verticillate , simple , entire, usually connate at base ; stipules scarious , bristly , or often absent. Inflorescence of cymes or cymose panicles, rarely flowers solitary or few in racemes , capitula, pseudoverticillasters, or umbels. Flowers actinomorphic , bisexual , rarely unisexual , occasionally cleistogamous . Sepals (4 or) 5, free , imbricate, or connate into a tube , leaflike or scarious, persistent , sometimes bracteate below calyx. Petals (4 or) 5, rarely absent, free, often comprising claw and limb; limb entire or split, usually with coronal scales at juncture of claw and limb. Stamens (2--) 5--10, in 1 or 2 series. Pistil 1; carpels 2--5, united into a compound ovary. Ovary superior, 1-loculed or basally imperfectly 2--5-loculed. Gynophore present or absent. Placentation free, central, rarely basal; ovules (1 or) few or numerous , campylotropous. Styles (1 or) 2--5, sometimes united at base. Fruit usually a capsule, with pericarp crustaceous , scarious, or papery , dehiscing by teeth or valves 1 or 2 × as many as styles, rarely berrylike with irregular dehiscence or an achene. Seeds 1 to numerous, reniform , ovoid , or rarely dorsiventrally compressed , abaxially grooved , blunt , or sharply pointed , rarely fimbriate-pectinate; testa granular , striate or tuberculate , rarely smooth or spongy ; embryo strongly curved and surrounding perisperm or straight but eccentric ; perisperm mealy.

Between 75 and 80 genera and ca. 2000 species: widespread but mainly of temperate or warm-temperate occurrence in the N hemisphere, with principal centers of distribution in the Mediterranean region and W Asia to W China and the Himalayas, fewer species in Africa S of the Sahara, America, and Oceania; 30 genera (two endemic) and 390 species (193 endemic) in China.

Arenaria, Silene, and Stellaria contain over half the species in the family in China. They are mostly concentrated in the Qinghai-Xizang plateau , and are especially rich from the Hengduan Mountains to the Himalayas. The main uses of this family are medicinal and ornamental . Dianthus superbus, Pseudostellaria heterophylla, Stellaria dichotoma var. lanceolata, and Vaccaria hispanica are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine . Some species of Arenaria, Dianthus, Gypsophila, Psammosilene, and Silene are used as medicinal herbs among the people or are habitually used in local Chinese medicine. Many species of Dianthus, Gypsophila, Lychnis, Saponaria, and Silene are grown as ornamentals. Atocion armeria (Linnaeus) Rafinesque ( Silene armeria Linnaeus), native to Russia and Europe, is also cultivated in China. It differs from Silene in having a corymbose inflorescence and obscure calyx veins. Wu Cheng-yih, Ke Ping, Zhou Li-hua, Tang Chang-lin & Lu De-quan. 1996. Caryophyllaceae. In: Tang Chang-lin, ed., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 26: 47–449.[1]

Genus Dianthus

Herbs, perennial (D. armeria annual or biennial), sometimes mat-forming. Taproots stout, rhizomes (when present) slender or stout. Stems erect or ascending , simple or branched, terete or angled . Leaves connate proximally into sheath , petiolate (basal leaves ) or sessile; blade 1-veined, linear or oblong to ovate , apex acute. Inflorescences terminal , open cymes, dense bracteate clusters or heads , or flowers solitary; bracts paired , herbaceous to scarious , or absent; involucel bracteoles 1-3 pairs, herbaceous or scarious. Pedicels erect in fruit. Flowers: sepals connate proximally into tube , 10-22 mm, tube green or reddish, 20-60-veined, ± cylindric , terete, commissures between sepals absent, lobes green or reddish, 3-8-veined, triangular to lanceolate, shorter than tube, margins white or reddish, mostly scarious, apex acute or obtuse ; petals often pink or red, sometimes white or purple, sometimes spotted or with darker center, clawed, auricles absent, coronal appendages absent, blade apex dentate or fimbriate to 1/ 2 of length ; nectaries at filament bases ; stamens 10, adnate with petals to carpophore; filaments distinct ; staminodes absent; ovary 1-locular; styles 2, filiform , 0.7-6 mm, glabrous proximally; stigmas 2, linear along adaxial surface of styles, papillate (30×) . Capsules ovoid to cylindric, opening by 4 teeth; carpophore present. Seeds 40-100+, blackish brown, shield-shaped , dorsiventrally compressed , papillose-striate to papillate, marginal wing absent, appendage absent; embryo central, straight. x = 15.

Species ca. 320: n North America, Eurasia (Balkans to c Asia), Africa; introduced in North America (except D. repens), South America, Pacific Islands (Hawaii), possibly Australia.

Dianthus species have been popular garden subjects for years; there are now over 27,000 registered cultivar names (A. C. Leslie 1983 and 19 subsequent supplements) . Although they are most popular in Great Britain, many species and cultivars are grown in North America. While some popular taxa (e.g. , D. caryophyllus Linnaeus, clove pink, and the hybrids called D. €˜allwoodii', Allwood's pink) do not appear to escape and/or persist after cultivation, others do so readily. Five of the six species treated here are introduced and readily persist; D. repens is our only native species .

In spite of the popularity of Dianthus in horticulture , the genus requires a thorough study using modern methods. It is the second largest genus in the family (surpassed only by Silene) but there is no recent monograph or comprehensive infrageneric classification. The genus is sometimes divided into two subgenera [Dianthus and Carthusianastrum F. Williams; e.g., F. A. Pax and K . Hoffmann (1934c) and T. G. Tutin and S. M. Walters (1993) ], corresponding to the division indicated in couplet one of the key below. Others, including M. Kuzmina (2002, 2003), have considered this an artificial separation .[2]

Physical Description

Habit: Evergreen .

Flowers: Bloom Period: June. • Flower Color: near white, pink, red, white


Size: 12-18" tall.


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Culture: Space 15-18" apart.

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b. (map)


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Similar Species

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Members of the genus Dianthus

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 274 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus. Here are just 100 of them:

D. abchasicus (Abkhazian Pink) · D. acantholimonoides (Prickly Thrift Like Pink) · D. alpinus (Alpine Pink) · D. alpinus 'Arctic Star' (Alpine Pinks) · D. alpinus 'Joan's Blood' (Joan's Blood Alpine Pink) · D. amurensis (Amur Pink) · D. amurensis 'Siberian Blues' (Amur Pink) · D. anatolicus (Anatolian Pink) · D. arenarius (Finnish Pink) · D. arenarius 'Snow Flurries' (Cottage Pinks) · D. armeria (Deptford Pink) · D. barbatus (Sweet William) · D. barbatus var. nigrescens 'Sooty' (Sooty Sweet William Dianthus Barbatus Var. Nigrescens) · D. barbatus x caryophyllus (Mule Pinks) · D. barbatus 'Amazon Neon Purple' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Auricula Eyed Mix' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Barbarini Lilac' (Barbarini Lilac Dianthus) · D. barbatus 'Black Adder' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Darkest of All' (Sweet William 'darkest of All') · D. barbatus 'Electron' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Holborn Glory' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Hollandia Mix' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Imperial Double Mix' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Indian Carpet' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Newport Pink' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Nigricans' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Noverna Purple' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Oeschberg' (Sweet William) · D. barbatus 'Purple Bouquet' (Sweet William) · D. bicolor (Yaskolka Shovitsa) · D. caesius (Pinks) · D. carthusianorum (Carthusian Pink) · D. carthusianorum carthusianorum (Clusterhead Pink) · D. caryophyllus (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus Amelie = 'Jinsamelie' (Carnation [amelie]) · D. caryophyllus Lion King = 'Hillik' (Carnation [lion King]) · D. caryophyllus Splash = 'Barsplash' (Carnation [splash]) · D. caryophyllus 'Allura' (Carnation 'allura') · D. caryophyllus 'Barabril' (Border Carnation 'barabril') · D. caryophyllus 'Bararcos' (Border Carnation 'bararcos') · D. caryophyllus 'Barfenix' (Border Carnation 'barfenix') · D. caryophyllus 'Barhugo' (Border Carnation 'barhugo') · D. caryophyllus 'Barlagos' (Border Carnation 'barlagos') · D. caryophyllus 'Barnita' (Border Carnation 'barnita') · D. caryophyllus 'Beam Cherry' (Border Carnation 'beam Cherry') · D. caryophyllus 'Birba' (Carnation 'birba') · D. caryophyllus 'Blueboy' (Blueboy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Brocade' (Brocade Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cardinal' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cfpc Cupid' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cfpc Debutante' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cfpc Jade' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'CFPC Malea' (Cfpc Malea Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cfpc Yellow Lacy' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Cinnamon Red Hots' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Citrien' (Border Carnation 'citrien') · D. caryophyllus 'Coquette' (Carnation 'coquette') · D. caryophyllus 'Corsa' (Carnation 'corsa') · D. caryophyllus 'Enigma' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Fenbow Nutmeg Clove' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Golden Sun' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Grenadin Mix' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Grenadin Pink' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Grenadin Red' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Grenadin White' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Innocence' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'King of the Blacks' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Kledp07088' (Border Carnation 'kledp07088') · D. caryophyllus 'Kledp07089' (Border Carnation 'kledp07089') · D. caryophyllus 'Kledp07095' (Border Carnation 'kledp07095') · D. caryophyllus 'Kocosmo' (Carnation 'kocosmo') · D. caryophyllus 'Kristina' (Kristina Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Lavender Lace' (Lavender Lace Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Milky Way' (Carnation 'milky Way') · D. caryophyllus 'Mini-Spice Peppermint' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Picotee' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Princess' (Border Carnation 'princess') · D. caryophyllus 'Red Romany' (Border Carnation 'red Romany') · D. caryophyllus 'Sapdone' (Border Carnation 'sapdone') · D. caryophyllus 'Saperu' (Border Carnation 'saperu') · D. caryophyllus 'Sapibotti' (Border Carnation 'sapibotti') · D. caryophyllus 'Sapnorelli' (Border Carnation 'sapnorelli') · D. caryophyllus 'Simba' (Border Carnation 'simba') · D. caryophyllus 'Stripes & Picotees' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Triumph Rose' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'True Love' (Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Weslupe' (Border Carnation 'weslupe') · D. caryophyllus 'White Gold' (Hardy Carnation) · D. caryophyllus 'Wish' (Pink 'wish]) · D. charadzeae (Kharadze's Pink) · D. Charlie = 'Hilcharly' (Carnation [charlie]) · D. chinensis (China Pinks) · D. chinensis var. heddewigii 'Black and White Minstrels' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis var. heddewigii 'Victoriana' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Baby Doll Mix' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Corona Cherry Magic' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Diana' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Floral Lace Picotee' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Raspberry Parfait' (China Pinks) · D. chinensis 'Strawberry Parfait' (China Pinks)

More Info

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Further Reading

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  1. Dequan Lu, Zhengyi Wu, Lihua Zhou, Shilong Chen, Michael G. Gilbert, Magnus Lidén, John McNeill, John K. Morton, Bengt Oxelman, Richard K. Rabeler, Mats Thulin, Nicholas J. Turland & Warren L. Wagner "Caryophyllaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 6 Page 1. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Richard K. Rabeler, Ronald L. Hartman "Dianthus". in Flora of North America Vol. 5. Oxford University Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2/1/2015