Carnation is a perennial flower which is commonly used by florists in large arrangements, bouquets, vases, boutonnieres and corsage. Carnation flowers can be found in a variety of beautiful and vibrant colors and their amazing resilience allows them to maintain a relatively long shelf life.
Carnation has a scientific name of “Dianthus Caryophyllus” meaning “flowers of the gods” and they are one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world. Sometimes it is referred to by its genus rather than its common name. Carnations have been cultivated for more than 2000 years and they are native to Eurasia.
During ancient Roman and Greek times, carnations were used in art and decor designs and were predominantly found in pale pink and peach shades. However, the flower’s color evolved over the centuries into shades of white, yellow, purple, red and sometimes green. There are 250 – 300 species approximately of this genus exist. Carnation is the national flower of Spain and the state flower of Ohio.
These herbaceous plants can grow up to 32 inches, their flowers have a sweet scent and bloom singly or grouped in 3 – 5 large clusters. Their narrow and stalkless leaves have color varies from green, grayish blue to purple. Their petals are ruffled and soft, and arranged in either an overlapping or single manner with serrated or claw-like edges. Hybridized varieties may have as many as 40 petals while single blooms known as Dianthus caryophllus have only five petals.
There are three main types of carnations, those are: Large flowered carnation which grows with a large flower per stem, Spray carnation which grows many smaller flowers per stem and Dwarf flowered carnation which is the smallest type that consists of several flowers growing on one stem as well. Carnations should be planted in moist but well-drained soil.
Generally, the flower is said to represent a woman’s emotions and love. Red represents admiration, pink represents a mother’s undying love, white carnation is a demonstration of good luck and purity. Striped carnation is indicative of regret or decline and purple color is representative of a woman’s caprice. You might want to consider the meaning of a carnation flower before buying it to prevent making an unintended gesture.