Dianthus (Allwoodii Alpinus Group)

Common Name: carnation 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May
Bloom Description: White (double)
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers fertile, slightly alkaline soils. Some afternoon shade is appreciated in hot summer climates. Space plants 9-12” apart to promote good air circulation. Remove spent flowers to prolong bloom period. Divide plants every 2-3 years. Generally intolerant of the hot and humid summer conditions of the deep South. Propagate by division or cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus × allwoodii is a hybrid dianthus bred in the 1920’s by English nurseryman Montague Allwood in which he crossed D. plumarius (cottage pink) and D. caryophylus (carnation). Vigorous, clump-forming plants. Large and variable group of hybrids. Plants are noted for gray-green foliage and fragrant solitary (sometimes 2) 2” flowers (single, semi-double or double – mostly double) per stem which are often patterned or zoned with many fringed petals. Stems to 1-1.5’. Vigorous tufts of narrow linear, gray-green leaves. Often found listed under various names, including Dianthus 'Allwoodii' and Dianthus allwoodii.

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

Specific epithet recognizes Montague Allwood, an English nurseryman who specialized in breeding dianthus.

Allwoodii Alpinus Group are believed to be dwarf cultivars resulting from the cross. Some may also contain some D. alpinus in their parentage.


Leaf spots can be a problem in humid conditions where plants are crowded. Crown rot may occur in wet, poorly-drained soil conditions. Watch for snails and slugs.


Rock gardens, border fronts or edgings. Banks and slopes. Ground cover. Containers.