Dianthus caryophyllus 'Clarion'
Common Name: carnation
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Plants require lots of sun for good flowers, but prefer cool summer temperatures. Plants generally perform best in organically rich, gritty loams in neutral to slightly alkaline soils. Good drainage is essential, but incorporating leaf mold and other organic material into the soil helps retain some moisture which is often needed in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Prompt removal of spent flowers may prolong bloom period, but can be quite labor intensive. This is a perennial plant that may be grown as an annual.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus caryophyllus, commonly called carnation or clove pink, is a loosely-tufted, woody-based herbaceous perennial that features fragrant, pink, purple-pink, or white often double flowers on stiff 30-inch tall stems clad with narrow, linear, gray-green leaves. It is native to the Mediterranean area. Original wild carnations are rarely found in commerce today, but serve as historical ancestors to the 1000s of carnation cultivars and hybrids which have been developed over time for use in both outdoor gardens or under glass for the cut flower industry. This species has been widely bred over time to produce a large number of varieties and cultivars ranging in size from diminutive plants to 6” tall up to long-stemmed plants rising to as much as 5’ tall.

Large-flowered carnations today are divided for organizational purposes into two different groupings: (1) border carnations (fragrant double flowers on stems rising to 16” tall) for use in outdoor gardens and (2) florist’s carnations (fragrant double flowers on stems rising to 3-4’ tall) primarily grown in greenhouses for supplying the florist trade.

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

Specific epithet comes from Greek karya meaning walnut tree and phyllon meaning leaf in reference to the aromatic smell of walnut leaves which led to the use of the name for the clove which further led to the within carnation being commonly called clove pink.

‘Clarion’ is a border carnation that features clear, yellow, double flowers on strong upright stems rising to 16” tall. Linear gray to silver leaves (to 3-6” long).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Rust and crown rot can be problems.

Garden Uses

Borders. Cutting gardens. Under glass. Popular cut flower.