Common Name: Dianthus
Family Roots: Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa. The name Dianthus is from the Greek words dios ("god") and anthos ("flower"), and was cited by the Greek botanist Theophrastus.
Personality: The species are mostly perennial herbs, a few are annual or biennial, and some are low subshrubs with woody basal stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, mostly linear and often strongly glaucous grey-green to blue-green. The flowers have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin, and are (in almost all species) pale to dark pink. One species, D. knappii, has yellow flowers with a purple centre.
Availability: Nearly year round
Tidbits: Dianthus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Cabbage Moth, Double-striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwingand The Lychnis. The color pink may be named after the flower, coming from the frilled edge of the flowers: the verb "pink" dates from the 14th century and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern" (maybe from German "pinken" = to peck). Source: Collins Dictionary. This verb sense is also used in the name of pinking shears.