Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Grandiflorus'
Common Name: cheddar pink 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Rose pink
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 3-9 where it is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers fertile, slightly alkaline, somewhat gritty loams. Well-drained soils are needed to prevent possible onset of crown rot. Plants will usually not survive in wet winter soils. Tolerates heat, humidity and occasional episodes of drought better than most other species of dianthus (performs very well in the southeastern U.S.). Prompt removal of spent flowers usually prolongs the bloom period, but can be quite labor intensive. After flowering is completed, plants may be lightly sheared back to maximize the ornamental appearance of the foliage mat. Plants may be grown from seed.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus gratianopolitanus, commonly known as cheddar pink, is a mat-forming perennial that produces numerous, fragrant, usually solitary, rose-pink flowers (each to 1” diameter) which bloom in May-June atop wiry stems rising above a tufted mound of foliage to as much as 12” tall. Foliage may spread over time to as much as 24” wide. Some intermittent continued bloom typically occurs throughout much of the remaining summer, particularly if flowers are promptly deadheaded before producing seed. Each flower has an ornamentally attractive darker pink eye ring. Glaucous, grassy, linear leaves form a dense spreading mat of blue-gray to gray-green foliage which is attractive throughout the growing season.

This dianthus is native to the Cheddar Gorge in southwest England, hence the common name of cheddar pink, east to Poland and the Ukraine.

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

Specific epithet means of Grenoble, Dauphine, France.

‘Grandiflorus’ flowers are slightly larger (to 1.5” diameter) than the flowers found on the straight species, hence the cultivar name which means large flower.


No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot may attack plants grown in moist to wet, poorly drained soils.


Rock gardens, border fronts, cottage gardens or containers. Drape over stone walls. Interesting plant for difficult growing sites such as rocky slopes. Effective small area ground cover. Also an effective edger.