Dianthus

Botanical Name:Dianthus anatolicus
Family:Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Common Names: Dianthus,  Carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and sweet william (D. barbatus). The name Dianthus is from the Greek words dios (“god”) and anthos (“flower”), and was cited by the Greek

Habitat:, Native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species (D. repens) in arctic North America.   W. Asia – Turkey to E.. Asia – western Tibet. Naturally occurring from Turkey to Tibet, it prefers rich soil with good drainage in full sun.

Description:
Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants.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.
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This little Dianthus is a sweet little mound-forming perennial with needle-like, grey foliage. Whitish pink flowers with a wine-colored eye. It grows around 4” high & 6” wide.

It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry soil.

Cultivation details:
Prefers an alkaline soil though it can also thrive in neutral and slightly acid soils down to a pH of 6. Requires sunny position.

Propagation
Seed – sow spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings in July/August in a cold frame. Very high percentage. Division in March. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Selected species:

Dianthus alpinus – Alpine Pink
Dianthus amurensis – Amur Pink
Dianthus anatolicus
Dianthus arenarius – Sand Pink
Dianthus armeria – Deptford Pink
Dianthus barbatus – Sweet William
Dianthus biflorus
Dianthus brevicaulis
Dianthus burgasensis
Dianthus callizonus
Dianthus campestris
Dianthus capitatus
Dianthus carthusianorum – Carthusian Pink
Dianthus caryophyllus – Carnation or Clove Pink
Dianthus chinensis – China Pink
Dianthus cruentus
Dianthus deltoides – Maiden Pink
Dianthus erinaceus
Dianthus freynii
Dianthus fruticosus
Dianthus furcatus
Dianthus gallicus – French Pink or Jersey Pink
Dianthus giganteus
Dianthus glacialis
Dianthus gracilis
Dianthus graniticus
Dianthus gratianopolitanus – Cheddar Pink
Dianthus haematocalyx
Dianthus japonicus
Dianthus kladovanus
Dianthus knappii
Dianthus lusitanus
Dianthus microlepsis
Dianthus moesiacus
Dianthus monspessulanus – Fringed pink
Dianthus myrtinervius – Albanian Pink
Dianthus nardiformis
Dianthus nitidus
Dianthus pavonius
Dianthus petraeus
Dianthus pinifolius
Dianthus plumarius – Common Pink
Dianthus pungens
Dianthus repens – Boreal Carnation
Dianthus scardicus
Dianthus seguieri – Sequier’s Pink
Dianthus simulans
Dianthus spiculifolius
Dianthus squarrosus
Dianthus subacaulis
Dianthus superbus – Large Pink
Dianthus sylvestris
Dianthus urumoffii
Dianthus zonatus

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General Uses:
Dianthus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Cabbage Moth, Double-striped Pug, Large Yellow Underwing and The Lychnis. Also three species of Coleophora case-bearers feed exclusively on Dianthus; C. dianthi, C. dianthivora and C. musculella (which feeds exclusively on D. suberbus).

The colour pink may be named after the flower. The origin of the flower name ‘pink’ may come 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. The verb sense is also used in the name of pinking shears.

Medicinal Uses:
Anthelmintic; Antibacterial; Antiphlogistic; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Febrifuge; Haemostatic; Ophthalmic; Tonic.

The Chinese pink has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary systems and also the bowels. It is also anthelmintic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of acute urinary tract infections (especially cystitis), urinary stones, constipation and failure to menstruate. It is used externally to treat skin inflammations and swellings. The old leaves are crushed and used for clearing the eyesight.

D. anatolicus is a member of large genus of Dianthus (approximately 300)  many of which have been used in Chinese and European herbal medicine for a large number of disorders including cardiac, urinary, nervous and gastrointestinal. Preparations are made from the flowers, leaves and stems but not the roots. The flower preparations are markedly diuretic.

The plants are harvested just before the flowers open and are dried for later use.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.anniesannuals.com/signs/d%20-%20g/dianthus_anatolicus.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Dianthus+anatolicus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dianthus
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Dianthus+chinensis
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html

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