The simplicity, fresh scent and long life of the carnation make it one of the most popular flowers for floral arrangements. It's also often used in bridal bouquets and boutonnieres. There are many colors of carnations, each with their own meaning. Pink carnations refer to a mother's love. White carnations symbolize good luck and pure love.
Large Flowered Carnations
The large, or standard, carnation has one large flower per stem. The flower is 2 to 3 inches across on a 28-inch stem. The most widely found colors are yellow, orange, red, pink, mauve, white and bi-colored. The most popular large carnations are Sims, Mediterranean and Sidney Littlefield. There are carnations with frilled petal ends. These varieties are called Butterfly, Chinese or Mignon. This carnation type is found mostly in pink, purple, white, red and bi-colored.
Mini, or spray, carnations grow 3 to 7 flowers on each stem. The flowers grow 1 to 2 inches across, with a stem height of 16 to 24 inches. The most popular colors of the mini carnation are pink, red, yellow, orange, white and bi-colored. The varieties that are most easily found are Rony (red), Exquisite (violet), Elegance (pink) and Tibet (white). Mini pink and red carnations are widely available for Valentine's Day.
Dwarf, or micro, carnations grow 2 to 4 flowers per stem. The blooms are a tiny 1/2 to 3/4 inch across. The stems reach up to 16 inches. These small flowers are found predominantly in white, yellow, red, purple and bi-colored. Dianthini are a type of dwarf carnations with white-edged petals.