Dianthus 'Wp10 Sab06' EARLY BIRD CHILI

Common Name: pink 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Orange-pink to dark coral
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer


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. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. Consider shearing plants back after main flush of bloom in order to tidy the planting and to promote additional bloom in late summer or early fall.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Perennial dianthus, commonly called carnations or pinks, are loosely-tufted, herbaceous perennials that features fragrant, often double flowers on stiff stems clad with narrow, linear, gray-green leaves. Most hybrid carnations are crosses between three species: D. caryophyllus, D. gratianopolitanus, and D. plumarius. There are thousands 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. Extensive breeding has produced cultivars in almost every shade of pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, and white, and ranging in size from 6” tall up to long-stemmed plants rising to as much as 4’ 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.

The common name of pink for plants in the genus Dianthus is in probable reference to the fringed flower petal margins (they appear to have been cut with pinking shears) and not to flower color.

'Wp10 Sab06’, commonly sold in commerce under the trade name of EARLY BIRD CHILI, is a hybrid dianthus cultivar that is particularly noted for its compact plant habit, gray-green leaves, and fragrant double flowers which have a vibrant orange-pink color. This hybrid is part of the Dianthus Early Bird Series.

Many-branched plants mature in a compact mound to 6-8” tall. Flower stems are sturdy and do not flop, typically rising several inches above the foliage mound. Flowers (each to 1 1/2” wide) bloom 3-5 per stem. Flowering occurs in spring but may continue sporadically throughout the summer. Narrow leaves (each to 3” long) are evergreen in warm winter climates. Flower stems are sturdy and do not flop, typically rising above the 8” foliage mound to 12” tall. Flowers (each to 1 1/2” wide) bloom 3-5 per stem. Flowering occurs in late spring but may continue sporadically throughout the summer.

This hybrid was developed in 2006 in a cultivated area of Houndspool, Dawlish, Devon, United Kingdom by crossing D. ‘Marcella’ as male parent with D. ‘SCA 03.10’ as female parent. Both parents are unreleased Dianthus hybrid selections from the breeding program of the inventor herein, Carolyn Grace Bourne.

U.S. Plant Patent PP24,2014 was issued on April 1, 2014


Carnations are susceptible to a variety of fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens, including botrytis, rust, powdery mildew, leaf spots, and fusarium wilt. They are also susceptible to aphids, caterpillars, leafminers, spidermites, and scale. All these pest and disease issues are greatly exacerbated when carnations are grown under glass for cut flower production, and are less problematic when grown outdoors in a garden bed. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Rock gardens, border fronts, edgings, banks and slopes, fragrance gardens, and pot/containers. When massed, these mat-forming plants can form an attractive ground cover.