Herbs & Plants

Sweet William

Botanical Name:Dianthus barbatus
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Caryophyllales
Genus: Dianthus
Species: D. barbatus

*Caryophyllus barbatus Moench
*Cylichnanthus barbatus Dulac
*Dianthus aggregatus Poir.
*Dianthus compactus Kit.
*Dianthus corymbosus F.Dietr.
*Dianthus girardinii Lamott

Common Name: Sweet William

Habitat:Sweet William is native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It normally grows in Meadows and woods.Now it is growing in the mountains of southern Europe from the Pyrenees east to the Carpathians and the Balkans, with a variety disjunct in northeastern China, Korea, and southeasternmost Russia

Sweet William is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant growing to 13–92 cm tall, with green to glaucous blue-green tapered leaves 4–10 cm long and 1–2 cm broad. The flowers are produced in a dense cluster of up to 30 at the top of the stems (known as an umbel). Each flower is 2–3 cm diameter with five petals displaying serrated edges, with a spicy, clove-like scent. Wild plants produce red flowers with a white base, but colours in cultivars range from white, pink, red, and purple to variegated patterns.


There are two varieties:
*Dianthus barbatus var. barbatus. Southern Europe. Leaves broader, up to 2 cm broad.
*Dianthus barbatus var. asiaticus Nakai. Northeastern Asia. Leaves slenderer, not over 1 cm broad.

Prefers a rich well-drained loamy soil in a sunny position, but succeeds in most soils including dry ones. A very ornamental plant, its flowers are very attractive to butterflies and moths. The flowers have a strong clove-like scent. Plants self-sow freely when grown in a suitable position. Although the Sweet William is a perennial species, it is quite short-lived and degenerates after its second year. It is best treated as a biennial in the garden.

Propagation: Through seeds.

Edible Uses: The flowers are considered edible. The flowers have a mild flavour and are used as a garnish for vegetable and fruit salads, cakes, desserts, cold drinks etc.

Medicinal Uses: Not yet known.

Other Uses:
Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Rock garden, Seashore, Specimen.
Special Features:Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Fragrant flowers.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.


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