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Clove Pink

Dianthus caryophyllus

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
60 centimetres tall
Gardens, walls.

Variable in colour, 5 petals
Flowers are normally pink but may also be orange, pink, red, white or orange. The tips of the petals are toothed. Pollinated by butterflies and moths.
The fruit is a capsule. The seeds ripen in August and September.
The leaves are in opposite pairs up the stem and are narrow, linear and pointed in shape. The leaves are a drab bluish-green and measure up to 15cm (6 inches) in length. The leaves are also smooth-edged. Some species of pink have rough-edged leaves. Garden escape species.
The flowers smell very strongly of clove.
Other Names:
Border Carnation, Carnation.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Dianthus caryophyllus, commonly known as the carnation or clove pink, is a species of herbaceous perennial plant in the Caryophyllaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia and is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The plant has narrow, grass-like leaves and small, fragrant, pink, red, white or purple flowers that grow in clusters. It is a popular flower for cutting and is often used in bouquets, as well as in garden beds and borders. The flower has a long history of use in traditional medicine, but there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses. It is not recommended for medicinal use.


Clove Pink, scientifically known as Dianthus caryophyllus, is a popular ornamental plant that is native to the Mediterranean region. This plant belongs to the family Caryophyllaceae, which includes many other popular garden plants such as baby's breath and soapwort. Clove Pink has been cultivated for centuries for its beautiful, fragrant flowers, which are used for cut flowers, garden borders, and container gardens.

Clove Pink is a hardy perennial plant that grows up to 2 feet tall and 1 foot wide. The plant produces slender stems that are covered with narrow, gray-green leaves that are about 2 inches long. The flowers of the plant are the most striking feature, and they come in a wide range of colors including white, pink, red, and yellow. The flowers are about 2 inches in diameter and are composed of five petals with serrated edges.

One of the most notable characteristics of Clove Pink is its strong, spicy fragrance. The flowers have a distinct clove-like scent that is both sweet and spicy. This scent is one of the reasons why Clove Pink is so popular as a cut flower, as it can add a delightful aroma to any room. Additionally, the flowers of Clove Pink are also edible and can be used to flavor food or to decorate desserts.

Clove Pink is a relatively easy plant to grow, as it prefers well-drained soil and full sunlight. It is also drought tolerant and can survive in a range of temperatures. Clove Pink can be grown from seed or propagated from cuttings, and it blooms in late spring or early summer. Once the flowers have bloomed, they should be deadheaded to encourage new growth.

In addition to its ornamental and aromatic qualities, Clove Pink also has a long history of medicinal use. The plant has been used to treat a range of ailments including toothaches, digestive issues, and respiratory problems. Clove Pink contains compounds that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, making it a valuable herb for traditional medicine.

Clove Pink has a rich cultural history and has been used in many different ways throughout the world. In ancient Greece, the plant was associated with the goddess of love, Aphrodite, and was used in love potions and spells. The Romans also held the plant in high regard and used it in their perfumes and cosmetics.

During the Middle Ages, Clove Pink became a symbol of the Virgin Mary, and it was often used to decorate altars and churchyards. The plant's name, Dianthus, comes from the Greek words for "divine flower," which reflects its spiritual and religious significance.

Today, Clove Pink is still popular in many cultures and is used for a variety of purposes. In Japan, the plant is a symbol of the samurai, and the flowers are used in traditional tea ceremonies. In China, the plant is associated with luck and is often used in festive decorations.

Clove Pink is also used in the perfume and fragrance industry, as its essential oil is highly valued for its sweet, spicy aroma. The oil is extracted from the flowers and is used in a range of products including perfumes, soaps, and candles.

In addition to its cultural and practical uses, Clove Pink also has ecological value. The plant attracts a variety of pollinators, including bees and butterflies, and it can help to improve soil quality and prevent erosion.

Clove Pink has also been the subject of scientific research, which has revealed some interesting findings about the plant's properties and potential applications.

Studies have shown that Clove Pink contains a number of compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds, such as eugenol, may have potential health benefits and may be useful in the treatment of various conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

Furthermore, some studies have suggested that Clove Pink may have antimicrobial properties, which could make it a useful natural remedy for fighting bacterial and fungal infections.

Clove Pink has also been studied for its potential as a natural insecticide. The plant produces compounds that repel insects, and these compounds may be useful in developing eco-friendly pest control solutions.

In addition, Clove Pink has been used in horticulture as a model organism for studying flower development and genetics. Researchers have used the plant to investigate the mechanisms that control flower formation and color, which could have applications in plant breeding and crop improvement.

In conclusion, Clove Pink is not only a beautiful and fragrant plant, but it also has a rich cultural history, practical applications, and scientific significance. Its medicinal properties, insect-repelling compounds, and potential in horticulture make it a plant of great value and interest. Whether grown for its aesthetic appeal, its therapeutic uses, or its scientific potential, Clove Pink is a plant that continues to captivate and inspire people around the world.