Dianthus pavonius 'Nancy Lindsay'

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: Purplish-red with white fringe
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 4-8 where it is easily grown in average, evenly moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers organically rich, neutral to slightly alkaline, gritty loams. Good drainage is essential, but incorporating organic material into the soil helps retain moisture in hot summer climates such as the St. Louis area. Drought tolerant once established. Prompt removal of spent flowers may prolong bloom period, but can be quite labor intensive for large plantings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus pavonius, commonly called peacock-eye pink or grass rose pink, is a diminutive mat-forming evergreen perennial that typically grows to only 2-4” (infrequently to 6”) tall spreading over time to 6-12” wide. Features linear dark blue-green leaves and fragrant, single-toothed, bearded pink flowers which are buff colored on the reverse of the petals. It is native to sunny grasslands and rocky slopes in the Alps and Pyrenees up to 9,500’ in elevation. Flowers bloom late April into June.

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

Specific epithet comes from the Latin pavo which means like a peacock.

Many of the plants in the genus Dianthus are commonly called pinks in reference to fringed flower petals that look as if they had been cut with pinking shears.

‘Nancy Lindsay’ features single clove-scented flowers with white-fringed, purplish-red petals which bloom in late spring to early summer atop compact stems that typically rise to 5-9” tall above a tussock of glaucous, grass-like, deep blue-green leaves. Each flower petal has two white center blotches. Cultivar name honors Nancy Lindsay (1986-1973), plant collector, nursery owner and gardener in the United Kingdom.


No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to rust. Watch for aphids and slugs.


Rock gardens. Border fronts. Troughs. Edging. Small area ground cover.