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Dianthus Adds Spice to Bouquets

Dianthus Adds Spice to Bouquets on

A fragrant gift from the gods.

It’s difficult to say when Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle, first noticed bunches of small flowers along a path in Ancient Greece. The blooms, with their lacy edges and clove-like fragrance, always seemed to have been an important addition to any handpicked bouquet.

So when it came time for the botanist to compile an identification of plants, Enquiry Into Plants and On The Causes of Plants, Theophrastus knew he needed to give this delicate yet hardy flower an appropriate name: dianthus, a combination of “dios” and “anthos” – flower of the gods.

Dianthus travels around the world

Not only is dianthus one of the oldest known flowering plants in the world, but it’s also one of the most versatile. As it spread throughout the known world, thanks to the Romans, botanists played with the plant, developing annual, perennial, and biennial varieties, as well as single and double flowers.

As a result, dianthus acquired a few other names:

  • Pinks: This term, dating back to the 14th century, is either a reference to the frilly edges – as if cut by pinking shears – of the flowers or the Christian Pentecost when the flowers bloom. (The Dutch word for Pentecost is Pinkster.)
  • Sweet William: The biennial variety of the plant is thought to be named for William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, who successfully led British forces against the Jacobite Rebellion at Culloden in Scotland. It’s not surprising, then, that the Scots call the plant Stinking Willy or Sour Billy.
  • Carnation: It’s believed this name is derived from the word “coronation,” since it was very common for the flowers to be used as garlands in ancient Greek ceremonies.

Dianthus in bouquets

It seems that when Theophrastus gave this little flower a name, he set the stage for dianthus to be quite at home in floral bouquets and arrangements. In fact, this flower of the gods has all the markings of the ideal cut flower.

  • It’s versatile enough to be used as a filler among other flowers or to stand on its own as a bouquet or boutonniere.
  • The fragrance is subtle yet spicy and can help add a little something extra to the perfume blend.
  • Flower colors fill the spectrum of pinks, as well as red, lavender, purple, white, and even yellow. Additionally, blooms come in all one color (selfs), have contrasting stripes or spots (fancies), have petals edged in a contrasting color (picotees), or have centers with a contrasting color (laced).
  • In the garden, dianthus is well known as a water-wise and low-maintenance plant. This means they are long lasting as a cut flower.

Dianthus in the HOSA collection

Like the ancient Greeks, we at HOSA International also believe dianthus to be an important addition to any bouquet or arrangement. Our selections are especially bold and beautiful. Our neon cherry lights up any bouquet with its dark pink tones, while our purple contrasts beautifully with yellows and oranges.

For more information about HOSA, our flowers, our policies, and what we can do for you, or to place an order, call us at 305.470.9991 or complete our online form.

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Flower Distributor

Flower Distributor