Dianthus superbus
Common Name: carnation
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Native Range: Europe, Asia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Pale lilac
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers fertile, slightly alkaline, somewhat gritty loams with good drainage. Prompt removal of spent flowers may prolong bloom period, but can be quite labor intensive. For larger plantings, it is perhaps more practical to simply shear off spent flowers after bloom. May be grown from seed. Species plants are short-lived and often grown as biennials.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Dianthus superbus is a European/Asian loosely tufted species that typically grows to 8-12” (less frequently to 24”) tall with decumbent stems below and branched upright stems above. Shaggy, deeply-fringed, pale lilac flowers (to 2” across) appear singly or in pairs at the stem ends in summer. Flowers are scented. Medium green basal leaves are linear-lanceolate (to 3” long).

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

Specific epithet means superb.

Problems

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

Garden Uses

Rock gardens, border fronts, cottage gardens or containers.