Become a Carnation Expert
- Grow them as cut flowers, bedding or container plants.
- Learn to identify different Dianthus and Carnation species and cultivars
- Explore different uses and growing techniques
Dianthus (pinks of carnations) belongs in the Caryophyllaceae family; there are around 88 genera and around 300 species in this family have been identified; there are also hundreds of hybrid varieties.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
Review of the system of plant identification
Methods of propagating this group of plants
Propagation of selected varieties
Pest and Disease
Harvest, Post Harvest and Quality
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
Explore the Carnation Family
Most genera within the Caryophyllacaeae family are from northern temperate and alpine locations of Europe, through to parts of Asia and North Africa.
They are generally soft wooded (herbaceous) A few are woody plants.
Genera in the Caryophyllacaeae family:
Acanthophyllum, Achyronychia, Agrostemma, Allochrusa, Alsinidendron, Ankyropetalum, Arenaria, Bolanthus, Bolbosaponaria, Brachystemma, Bufonia, Cardionema, Cerastium, Cerdia, Colobanthus, Cometes, Cucubalus, Cyathophylla, Dianthus, Diaphanoptera, Dicheranthus, Drymaria, Drypis, Geocarpon, Gymnocarpos, Gypsophilla, Habrosia, Haya, Herniaria, Holosteum, Honckenya, Illecebrum, Kabulia, Krauseola, Kuhitangia, Lepyrodiclis, Lochia, Loeflingia, Lychnis, Mesostemma, Microphyes, Minuartia, Moehringia, Moenchia, Myosoton, Ochotonophila, Ortegia, Paronychia, Pentastemonodiscus, Petrocoptis, Petrorhagia, Philippiella, Phrynella, Pinosia, Pirinia, Pleioneura, Plettkia, Pollichia, Polycarpaea, Polycarpon, Polytepalum, Pseudostellaria, Pteranthus, Pycnophyllopsis, Pycnophyllum, Reicheella, Sagina, Sanctambrosia, Saponaria, Schiedea, Scleranthopsis, Scleranthus, Sclerocephalus, Scopulophila, Selleola, Silene, Spergula, Spergularia, Sphaerocoma, Stellaria, Stipulicida, Thurya, Thylacospermum, Uebelinia, Vaccaria, Velezia, Wilhelmsia, Xerotia.
Carnations are all (botanically), the species "Dianthus caryophyllus" - there are of course several hundred species of Dianthus (Sweet William is Dianthus barbatus.) The perpetual flowering carnation originated from Dianthus caryophyllus being bred with other species of Dianthus - at least with Dianthus sinensis. This type is reported to have been bred in Lyons, France around 1830.
In this course we will be dealing with species in the genus Dianthus (carnations) only. There are four types of Dianthus grown as ‘Pinks’: annual, cluster-headed, cottage and rockery. The most common species known as pinks include:
Carnations are plants bred and selected from clove scented species of Dianthus. The original development started in the 19th century. In 1903 a breeder (Mr H. Burnett, Guernsey) developed a perpetual flowering carnation as a hybrid. The development of other hybrids followed rapidly.
There are two main types grown as cut flowers are ‘Standard’ and ‘Spray’.
Standards have the side buds removed, to produce a long stem with one terminal flower. Most standards grown are bred from an American cultivar called "William Sim"
Sprays are not disbudded. They are grown with many flowers branching from a stem, and are sold as a bunch.
WHY STUDY CARNATIONS
- They are one of the most popular and widely cultivated cut flowers
- They are an important landscape plant used in rockeries, perennial borders, as container plants and elsewhere
- They are a passion for many flower lovers and gardeners worldwide
- You may work with them already, or might want to learn more to become more involved with carnations