Carnation
Overview
Dianthus caryophyllus (Clove Pink) is a species of Dianthus
Dianthus
Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species in arctic North America. Common names include carnation , pink and sweet William Dianthus is a genus of...

. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It is the wild ancestor of the garden carnation.

It is a herbaceous
Herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are glaucous
Glaucous
Glaucous is used to describe the pale grey or bluish-green appearance of the surfaces of some plants, as well as in the names of birds, such as the Glaucous Gull , Glaucous-winged Gull , Glaucous Macaw , and Glaucous...

 greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long.
Encyclopedia
Dianthus caryophyllus (Clove Pink) is a species of Dianthus
Dianthus
Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species in arctic North America. Common names include carnation , pink and sweet William Dianthus is a genus of...

. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It is the wild ancestor of the garden carnation.

It is a herbaceous
Herbaceous
A herbaceous plant is a plant that has leaves and stems that die down at the end of the growing season to the soil level. They have no persistent woody stem above ground...

 perennial plant
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

 growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves
Leaf
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

 are glaucous
Glaucous
Glaucous is used to describe the pale grey or bluish-green appearance of the surfaces of some plants, as well as in the names of birds, such as the Glaucous Gull , Glaucous-winged Gull , Glaucous Macaw , and Glaucous...

 greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower colour is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s of other colours, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed.

Growing carnations

Carnations require well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil, and full sun. Numerous cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s have been selected for garden planting. Typical examples include 'Gina Porto', 'Helen', 'Laced Romeo', 'Red Rocket'.

Colombia is the largest carnation producer in the world.

Traditional meanings

For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction, though there are many variations dependent on colour.
  • Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection.
  • White carnations represent pure love and good luck, while striped (variegated) carnations symbolise regret that a love cannot be shared.
  • Purple carnations indicate capriciousness. In France, it is a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.
  • In France and Francophone cultures, carnations symbolize misfortune and bad luck.
  • Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to a Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth
    Earth
    Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

     as Jesus carried the Cross
    Cross
    A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two lines or bars perpendicular to each other, dividing one or two of the lines in half. The lines usually run vertically and horizontally; if they run obliquely, the design is technically termed a saltire, although the arms of a saltire need not meet...

    . The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love.
  • Carnation is the birth flower for those born in the month of January.

The formal name for carnation, dianthus, comes from Greek for "heavenly flower", or the flower of Jove
JOVE
JOVE is an open-source, Emacs-like text editor, primarily intended for Unix-like operating systems. It also supports MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. JOVE was inspired by Gosling Emacs but is much smaller and simpler, lacking Mocklisp...

.

Holidays and events

Carnations are often worn on special occasions, especially Mother's Day
Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May...

 and weddings. In 1907 Anna Jarvis
Anna Jarvis
Anna Marie Jarvis is the founder of the Mother's Day holiday in the United States.-Biography:...

 chose a carnation as the emblem of Mother's Day because it was the favourite flower of her mother. This tradition is now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May. Ann Jarvis chose the white carnation because she wanted to represent the purity of a mother's love. This meaning has evolved over time, and now a red carnation may be worn if one's mother is alive, and a white one if she has died.

In Korea, red and pink Carnations are used for showing their love and gratitude toward their parents on Parents Day (Korea does not separate Mother's Day and Father's Day, but has Parents Day on 8 May). Sometimes, you can see parents wear a corsage of Carnation(s) on their left chest on Parents Day. Not only on Parents Day, but also on Teacher's Day (15 May), people express their admiration and gratitude to their teachers with Carnations, as Carnation has the meaning of 'admiration', 'love', and 'gratitude'.

Red carnations are worn on May Day
International Workers' Day
International Workers' Day is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries...

 as a symbol of the labor movement in some countries, such as Austria, Italy, and successor countries of former Yugoslavia. Red carnation is also the symbol of the Portuguese Carnation Revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

.

Green carnations are for St. Patrick's Day and were famously worn by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

. The green carnation thence became a symbol of homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 in the early 20th century.

At the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 , carnations are traditionally worn to all examinations; white for the first exam, pink for exams in between and a red for the last exam. One suggested reason for this tradition is a story that tells that initially this was a white carnation that was kept in a red inkpot between exams, so by the last exam it was fully red. It is thought to originate in the late 1990s.

Symbols of territorial entities and organizations

Carnation is the national flower of Spain and Slovenia, and the provincial flower of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.The four largest islands are: Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain with Palma as the capital...

. The state flower of Ohio is a scarlet carnation. The choice was made to honour William McKinley
William McKinley
William McKinley, Jr. was the 25th President of the United States . He is best known for winning fiercely fought elections, while supporting the gold standard and high tariffs; he succeeded in forging a Republican coalition that for the most part dominated national politics until the 1930s...

, Ohio Governor and U.S. President, who was assassinated in 1901, and regularly wore a scarlet carnation on his lapel.
  • White carnations are the official flower of the fraternities Delta Chi
    Delta Chi
    Delta Chi or D-Chi is an international Greek letter college social fraternity formed on October 13, 1890,at Cornell University, initially as a professional fraternity for law students. On April 29, 1922, Delta Chi became a general membership social fraternity, eliminating the requirement for men...

    , Delta Sigma Phi
    Delta Sigma Phi
    Delta Sigma Phi is a fraternity established at the City College of New York in 1899 and is a charter member of the North-American Interfraternity Conference. The headquarters of the fraternity is the Taggart Mansion located in Indianapolis, Indiana...

    , Phi Beta Sigma
    Phi Beta Sigma
    Phi Beta Sigma is a predominantly African-American fraternity which was founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1914, by three young African-American male students. The founders A. Langston Taylor, Leonard F. Morse, and Charles I...

    , and Zeta Psi
    Zeta Psi
    The Zeta Psi Fraternity of North America was founded June 1, 1847 as a social college fraternity. The organization now comprises about fifty active chapters and twenty-five inactive chapters, encompassing roughly fifty thousand brothers, and is a founding member of the North-American...

    , as well as for the sororities Alpha Pi Chi, Chi Omega
    Chi Omega
    Chi Omega is a women's fraternity and the largest member of the National Panhellenic Conference. Chi Omega has 174 active collegiate chapters and over 230 alumnae chapters. Chi Omega's national headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennessee....

    .
  • Red carnations are the official flower of Sigma Lambda Beta
    Sigma Lambda Beta
    Sigma Lambda Beta is the largest Latino-based social fraternity established on cultural understanding and wisdom. Founded on April 4, 1986 at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, the organization is committed to create and expand multicultural leadership, promote academic excellence, advance...

    , Phi Iota Alpha
    Phi Iota Alpha
    Phi Iota Alpha , established December 26, 1931, is the oldest Latino fraternity still in existence, and works to motivate people, develop leaders, and create innovative ways to unite the Latino community. The organization has roots that stem back to the late 19th century to the first Latino...

    , Phi Kappa Tau
    Phi Kappa Tau
    Phi Kappa Tau is a U.S. national collegiate fraternity.-History:Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity was founded in the Union Literary Society Hall of Miami University's Old Main Building in Oxford, Ohio on March 17, 1906...

    , Tau Kappa Epsilon
    Tau Kappa Epsilon
    Tau Kappa Epsilon is a college fraternity founded on January 10, 1899 at Illinois Wesleyan University with chapters in the United States, and Canada, and affiliation with a German fraternity system known as the Corps of the Weinheimer Senioren Convent...

    , Theta Chi
    Theta Chi
    Theta Chi Fraternity is an international college fraternity. It was founded on April 10, 1856 as the Theta Chi Society, at Norwich University, Norwich, Vermont, U.S., and was the 21st of the 71 North-American Interfraternity Conference men's fraternities.-Founding and early years at Norwich:Theta...

     fraternities, the national professional chemistry fraternity Alpha Chi Sigma
    Alpha Chi Sigma
    Alpha Chi Sigma is a professional fraternity specializing in the field of chemistry. It has both collegiate and professional chapters throughout the United States consisting of both men and women and numbering more than 63,400 members...

    , the national honorary fraternity for college bandmembers Kappa Kappa Psi
    Kappa Kappa Psi
    Kappa Kappa Psi is a fraternity for college and university band members. It was founded on November 27, 1919 at Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. William Scroggs, now regarded as the "Founder," together with "Mr. Kappa Kappa Psi" A...

    , and of the Eta Phi Beta, Lambda Phi Chi and Alpha Chi Omega
    Alpha Chi Omega
    Alpha Chi Omega is a women's fraternity founded on October 15, 1885. Currently, there are 135 chapters of Alpha Chi Omega at colleges and universities across the United States and more than 200,000 lifetime members...

     sororities.
  • Rose carnations are the official flower of the Phi Mu
    Phi Mu
    Phi Mu is the second oldest female fraternal organization established in the United States. It was founded at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. The organization was founded as the Philomathean Society on January 4, 1852, and was announced publicly on March 4 of the same year...

     Fraternity.
  • Pink carnations are the official flower of the Gamma Phi Beta
    Gamma Phi Beta
    Gamma Phi Beta is an international sorority that was founded on November 11, 1874, at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. The term "sorority," meaning sisterhood, was coined for Gamma Phi Beta by Dr. Frank Smalley, a professor at Syracuse University.The four founders are Helen M. Dodge,...

     sorority, as they are the longest lasting flowers.
  • Wine carnations are the official flower of the Pi Beta Phi
    Pi Beta Phi
    Pi Beta Phi is an international fraternity for women founded as I.C. Sorosis on April 28, 1867, at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. Its headquarters are located in Town and Country, Missouri, and there are 134 active chapters and over 330 alumnae organizations across the United States and...

     Women's Fraternity.

Colors

Carnations do not naturally produce the pigment delphinidin
Delphinidin
Delphinidin is an anthocyanidin, a primary plant pigment, and also an antioxidant. Delphinidin gives blue hues to flowers like violas and delphiniums...

, thus a blue carnation cannot occur by natural selection
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 or be created by traditional plant breeding
Plant breeding
Plant breeding is the art and science of changing the genetics of plants in order to produce desired characteristics. Plant breeding can be accomplished through many different techniques ranging from simply selecting plants with desirable characteristics for propagation, to more complex molecular...

. It shares this characteristic with other widely sold flowers like roses
Hybrid Tea
Hybrid Tea is a cultivar group of roses, created by cross-breeding two different types of roses, initially by hybridising Hybrid Perpetuals with Tea roses...

, lillies
Lilium
Lilium is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere, though the range extends into the northern subtropics...

, chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are of the genus constituting approximately 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae which is native to Asia and northeastern Europe.-Etymology:...

s and gerbera
Gerbera
Gerbera L. is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family . It was named in honour of the German botanist and naturalist Traugott Gerber who travelled extensively in Russia and was a friend of Carolus Linnaeus....

s.

Around 1996 a company used genetic manipulation to extract certain genes from petunia
Petunia
Petunia is a widely cultivated genus of flowering plants of South American origin, closely related with tobacco, cape gooseberries, tomatoes, deadly nightshades, potatoes and chili peppers; in the family Solanaceae. The popular flower derived its name from French, which took the word petun, meaning...

 and snapdragon
SnapDragon
SnapDragon is a contemporary jazz band based in San Antonio, Texas. The group released their debut CD, "Stealing a Moment" on Humbug Records in 2008, and the 10-song CD soon broke the Top 100 in U.S radio airplay...

 flowers to produce a blue-mauve carnation, which was commercialized as Moondust. In 1998 a violet carnation called Moonshadow was commercialized. As of 2004 three additional blue-violet/purple varieties have been commercialized.

Etymology

Carnations were mentioned in Greek literature 2,000 years ago. "Dianthus" was coined by Greek botanist Theophrastus
Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

, and is derived from the Greek words for divine ("dios") and flower ("anthos"). Some scholars believe that the name "carnation" comes from "coronation" or "corone" (flower garlands), as it was one of the flowers used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Others think the name stems from the Latin "caro" (genitive "carnis") (flesh), which refers to the original colour of the flower, or incarnatio (incarnation), which refers to the incarnation of God made flesh.

Although originally applied to the species Dianthus caryophyllus, the name Carnation is also often applied to some of the other species of Dianthus
Dianthus
Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species in arctic North America. Common names include carnation , pink and sweet William Dianthus is a genus of...

, and more particularly to garden hybrids between D. caryophyllus and other species in the genus.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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