Flowers | Flower Facts | Carnation
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Name: Dianthus, its botanical name, means divine flower. Carnation was the flesh-pink colour Elizabethan portrait painters used as a background wash.
Description: The carnation is available as a standard carnation - one large flower per stem, or a spray carnation with lots of smaller flowers.
Available in a huge range of colours, almost all except blue. A mauve carnation with a blue tinge has been developed by Florigene in Australia. But they look best in hot Latin shades of red, pink and orange.
Availability: All year round.
Varieties: New varieties have been bred which look like old-fashioned garden pinks, but in bright colours. They have daintier relatives, the fantastically fragrant Sweet Williams and Pinks.
Care Tips:
Carnations can last up to three weeks but should be kept away from ripening fruit and vegetables because of ethylene gas.
Facts: Carnations are the UK's best-selling cut flower, by miles. They are an excellent cut-flower, great value, very long-lasting, Since the 1950's they have been frowned upon by the style gurus, but are now making a comeback.
Folklore: Used on mothering Sunday. In Canada you wear a red flower if your mother is alive or a white flower if your mother has died.
Language of Flowers: Red carnation for "alas for my poor heart", striped for refusal, yellow for disdain, pink for woman's love.