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Sweet William

Dianthus barbatus

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Caryophyllales
Family:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Type:
Flower
Life Cycle:
Perennial
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Habitats:
Gardens, meadows, roadsides, sand dunes, wasteland, woodland.

Flower:
֍
Red, 5 petals
 
Flowers grow together in compact clusters of about 30. The dark red petals have serrated edges and are white at the base. The flowers are usually red but sometimes other colours. The flowers are each about 3cm in diameter. Pollinated by bees, butterflies and moths.
Fruit:
The fruit is a narrowly oval capsule with 4 teeth around the mouth. It produces numerous tiny seeds. The dark brown seeds ripen in September and October. The plant is self-seeding.
Leaves:
A short-lived perennial flower sometimes encountered growing wild as a garden escape. The leaves are bluish-green, narrow and tapering to a point. They measure up to 10cm long and 2cm wide. There are 2 varieties of Sweet William: (1) Dianthus barbatus barbatus which has leaves up to 2cm wide, and (2) Dianthus barbatus asiaticus whose leaves are less than 1cm wide.
Aroma:
Clove-scented.
Other Names:
Bearded Pink, Bloomy Down, London Pride, London Tufts.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  
Similar Species:
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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