A Complete Profile Of Dianthus Barbatus

dianthus barbatus

Dianthus barbatus, commonly known as the Sweet William Catchfly or grass pink, is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family. It grows between 10 – 30 inches tall and produces blue-violet flowers which bloom between May and August depending on geographic location. The plant grows best in climates with cool summers, but can also grow year-round in milder climates. It blooms earlier than other plants that are distantly related to it.

The history of Dianthus Barbatus

A group of pink flowers

The first documented case of the dianthus barbatus was by 16th century Italian botanist Pierandrea Mattioli who described it as “flos campi” or “flowers of the field.” It was originally thought that the name dianthus barbatus was derived from the Latin for sword (dens) and beard (barbatus), as it was believed to resemble a bristly bearded chin. The French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort renamed it as dianthus carthusianorum after discovering it in southern France. Linnaeus, the creator of the modern taxonomic naming system used currently, later reclassified and changed its name to dianthus barbatus due to plant characteristics he observed during his travels around Europe.

How to grow Dianthus Barbatus

A pink flower on a plant

Dianthus barbatus is hardy in zones 3 – 9 and can be grown in full sun or partial shade. It grows best when planted in moist to dry soils and will tolerate pH levels of up to 7.0. Dianthus barbatus can also tolerate sandy and loamy soils, but does require seasonally moist conditions for optimal growth. The plant prefers well draining soil and should not be watered until the top 2 inches of the soil becomes dry; however, over watering may cause root rot and kill the plant.

Uses for Dianthus Barbatus

Dianthus barbatus has a multitude of uses: it is aesthetically pleasing due to its stately appearance and intense coloration, its petals are edible and can be used fresh or dried for cooking purposes, live plants can be used as ground cover, and it can be used as a companion plant by placing them around vegetables and other plants that attract beneficial insects.

How to take care of Dianthus Barbatus

Dianthus barbatus is a perennial flowering plant that is easy to take care of. Here are some tips on how to take care of them:

1. Make sure the soil is well-drained and fertile.

2. Water the plant regularly, but make sure not to overwater it.

3. Fertilize the plant once a month with a balanced fertilizer.

4. Deadhead the flowers regularly to promote blooming.

Dianthus Barbatus species require a well-drained soil. They will fail to grow and eventually die if they are planted in a soil that does not drain properly. The best soil for dianthus is sandy loam, although they will grow in almost any good garden soil as long as it drains well. Dianthus plants do best on slopes or raised beds where the drainage is naturally very good.


Dianthus barbatus, more commonly known as Sweet William or Carnation, is a species of flowering plant in the family Caryophyllaceae. It is an annual or biennial herbaceous perennial native to Europe and widely naturalized elsewhere. The flowers are produced singly or in small clusters in the axils of the leaves; they are 5-petalled, with a sharply pointed calyx. The fruit is a nutlet.

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