Common Names: Carnation, Pinks, Chinese Pink
Botanical names: Dianthus (die-ANTH-us)
Availability: Year round
Vase life: 10 to 14 days
Storage temperatures: 36 - 38 degrees Fahrenheit
Ethylene Sensitive: Yes
Description: A single flower, delicate multi-petaled, double blossom at the end of a long stem.
Color: Wide range of colors, not limited to: pink, white, red, purple, yellow, and orange; plus bi-colors and frosted varieties.
Botanical facts: The name is from the Greek words Dios (Devine) and Anthos (Flower). While they might not be delicious, carnations are often used as an edible decoration/garnish on salads, cakes, and other desserts.
Design notes: The wide range of colors and the versatility of the carnation makes it a popular flower in floral design.
Purchasing hints: Purchase flowers with tight buds. Avoid flowers with broken stems, shattered blooms, split calyx, or blossoms with the pistil exposed above the blossom.
Conditioning: Remove all foliage that will be below the water line. Cut two inches off of the stem ends with a sharp knife. Hydrate in a solution of water and commercial floral food for two hours before storage or usage.
Additional notes: The popularity of the carnation waxes and wanes. In the French Grand Era (Louis XIV), the carnation was the favored flower of the royal court. In America today, the carnation is seen as an old fashioned and overused flower. However, it is coming back into favor with both interior and floral designers. Their strong shape can add a touch of modernity to interiors. We find them today not in the pale pastels, but in piquant pink, fiery red and various hectic orange hues. And the way to arrange them has changed too. Gone are the spiky triangles with the lonely carnation heads stranded in mid air; and so have the single blobs of color strewn around bouquets. you can bind them together in bunches with ribbon and lean against vase sides at crazy angles; crowd them together in large numbers in tall glass vases; float in wide bowls or as a collection of small bouquets fringed by attractive round leaves. Carnations can easily tempt you into having a go! The new methods of arranging are based on simplicity and exuberance. Carnations make a vivid contribution to the metamorphosis going on in the style of our homes.