Botanical Name: Dianthus caryophyllus
Species: D. caryophyllus
Common Names: Clove pink, Carnation, Border Carnation
Habitat : Clove pink is found in the Mediterranean countries of Croatia, Greece, Italy (including Sicily and Sardinia), and Spain. A plant of limestone soils, it is often found on old walls in Britain.
Clove pink is a herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 80 cm (31 1?2 in) tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm (6 in) long. It is in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are around 3–5 cm (1 1?4–2 in) diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colors, including red, white, yellow, blue and green, along with some white with colored striped variations have been developed. The fragrant, hermaphrodite flowers have a radial symmetry. The four to six surrounding the calyx, egg-shaped, sting-pointed scales leaves are only ¼ as long as the calyx tube.
Clove pink require well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil, and full sun. Numerous cultivars have been selected for garden planting. Typical examples include ‘Gina Porto’, ‘Helen’, ‘Laced Romeo’, and ‘Red Rocket’.
Edible Uses: The flower petals have a strong smell of cloves and are candied, used as a garnish in salads, for flavouring fruit, fruit salads etc. Their fragrance was historically used for vinegar, beer, wine, sauces and salads. They can also be used as a substitute for rose petals in making a syrup. The petals should be removed from the calyx and their bitter white base should be removed
Carnation flowers are an aromatic, stimulant herb that has been used in tonic cordials in the past to treat fevers, though this use is now obsolete. It is traditionally prescribed in European herbal medicine to treat coronary and nervous disorders. The flowers are considered to be alexiteric, antispasmodic, cardiotonic, diaphoretic and nervine. The plant has been used as a vermifuge in China. They are also used to cure upset stomach and fever.
An essential oil is obtained from the flowers. It is used in perfumery. 500kg of flowers produce 100g of oil. The flowers are harvested when they are fully open in the morning, preferably after 3 hours exposure to sunlight. The flower heads are dried and used in pot-pourri, scented sachets and cosmetic products. The plant is quite rich in saponins. The leaves can be simmered in water and this water can then be used as a soap for cleaning the skin, clothes etc.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.