Carnation Flower Facts

Carnation Flower Facts image by ypsilon13:
Carnation Flower Facts image by ypsilon13:


Native to Southern Europe, Japan and India, carnations are one of the best-selling cut flowers for floral arrangements. Long-lasting and symbolic, pink carnations are popular for Mother's Day because they are said to symbolize a mother's undying love. But use caution when speaking with carnations, as they often indicate dramatic emotions---yellow carnations suggest disappointment and purple indicates capriciousness.

Botanical Name

Dianthus caryophyllus is also known as Clove Pink. A member of the Caryophyllaceae family, it is related to sweet William and gypsophila.


Carnations form tufts of upright stems with narrow, gray-green leaves. Height is between 8 and 12 inches, width is approximately 6 inches.


Flat-faced flowers appear in all colors except blue. Some species have a standard single flower while others form a spray of smaller, individual flowerets.


Hardy in zones 3 through 10, carnations can also be grown indoors. These plants do best in bright but indirect sunlight.


Carnations require well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Rainwater may create an overly acidic environment---apply appropriate soil treatments if pH levels drop below 7.


Carnations are used in beds, borders and pots. An excellent cut flower, some species of carnation are also highly fragrant.


  • The Flower Expert: Carnations
  • Carnation
Keywords: carnation, dianthus, cut flowers

About this Author

Moira Clune is a freelance writer who since 1991 has been writing sales and promotional materials for her own and other small businesses. In addition, she has published articles on VetInfo and various other websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hartwick College.

Photo by: ypsilon13: