Dianthus 'Devon Xera' FIRE STAR
Common Name: pink 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Red with deeper crimson eye
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers fertile, alkaline, somewhat gritty loams with good drainage. Plants may die out in the center if drainage is not superior. Consider shearing plants back after main flush of bloom in order to tidy the planting and to promote additional bloom in late summer or early fall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus is a genus of over 300 species from Europe and north Asia to Japan. One species is native to North America. Most are evergreen and can be low-growing subshrubs, annuals, biennials or perennials. They are grown for their attractive, often fragrant, flowers. Many hybrids, often of complex parentage, have been made resulting in tens of thousands of cultivars.

Genus name comes from the Greek words dios meaning divine and anthos meaning flower.

The common name of pink for plants in the genus Dianthus is in probable reference to the fringed flower petal margins (they appear to have been cut with pinking shears) and not to flower color.

'Devon Xera', commonly sold under the trade name of FIRE STAR, is a hybrid dianthus cultivar derived from alpine dianthus. FIRE STAR is a member of the Star Series resulting from a breeding program of John Whetman (HR Whetman and Sons) in Devon, England. It is noted for its compact growth, fragrant blooms, abundant flowering and extended bloom period. Narrow, lanceolate, glaucous, gray-green leaves typically form a dense mounded cushion to 5-7” tall. Leaves are evergreen in warm winter climates. Fragrant (clove-scented), red flowers with a deeper crimson eye appear in a lengthy late spring to early summer bloom on stems rising slightly above the foliage mound to 8” tall. Flowers bloom 3-5 per stem. Flowering may continue sporadically throughout the summer. U.S. Plant Patent PP14,895 was issued on June 8, 2004.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Dianthus is generally susceptible to crown rot, particularly if grown in wet, poorly drained soils. Leaf spot may occur in humid summers, particularly where plants are crowded.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts, edgings, fragrance gardens and containers. When massed, these mat-forming plants can form an attractive ground cover.