The genus was named Dianthus which means divine flower. It was named by Carolus Linnaeus in the 18th century. Dianthus is a large genus in the hundreds of species of flowering plants, native mainly to Europe and Asia.
Dianthus are hardy perennial flowers with bright, fragrant blooms, perfect for your rock garden. Be selective since some varieties can be 18 to 24 inches tall while others have almost stemless flowers such as Dianthus myrtinervis ssp. caespitosus.
Dianthus will grow very well in full sun with well-drained soil. They will however tolerate poorly aerated soils like heavy clay better than many other plants. For the taller species of Dianthus after the flowers have died, cut the flower stems to the foiliage or even ground level.
They can be propagated from seed or vegetatively from cuttings.
The biggest cultivation problem with Dianthus is crown rot. Thus do not mulch in the winter with compost. A gravel grit mulch such as pea gravel or chicken grit is a good topping for around Dianthus cushions to prevent the foliage from sitting on the ground. Avoid planting Dianthus where the soil is continuously soggy.
Dianthus myrtinervis ssp. caespitosus was the March 2009 Plant of the Month.
|Dianthus myrtinervis ssp caespitosus, photo by Mike Slater|
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The original document is available at http://nargs.org/nargswiki/tiki-index.php?page=Dianthus