Delicate, beautiful, and long-lasting, such is the state flower of Ohio and national flower of Spain―Carnation. Vivid colored carnations are found throughout the year, making them a versatile decorative flower for all occasions, irrespective of the blooming season. Being one of the oldest cultivated flowers associated with mythological stories, learning about this flower is very interesting.
Information on Carnations
Carnations are considered as flowers for people born in January, and are used as first wedding anniversary flowers. The incomparable beauty and elegance of these flowers are understandable from the fact that they are the state and national flower of many regions. The following is a brief information regarding carnations that you will love to know about these all-season flowers.
The carnation, scientific name Dianthus caryophyllus, is taxonomically classified under the Caryophyllaceae family, of the order Caryophyllales. A herbaceous perennial plant, they can grow to a height of about 80 cm from the ground. Flowers are sweet-scented and bloom singly or in groups of 3 to 5. The petals may be arranged in a single or overlapping manner.
Native to the eastern Mediterranean region, the original color of these flowers is believed to be pink, after which different cultivars having varied colors developed. Carnations have been planted for over 2,000 years; it is believed that the pink carnation sprang up for the first time from the tears of the Virgin Mary. Greeks and Romans used carnations in making garlands.
More than 300 varieties of carnations are found all over the world. With so many species, you can imagine the variation in color of carnations. You can find them in shades of white, yellow, green, pink, light red, deep red, and purple. Apart from single color varieties, you can also find striped carnations in different shades.
Based on the mode of flower development, carnations are of three types―large flowered, dwarf flowered, and mini carnations. The first represents a variety that bears a single large flower in one stem; whereas the second type has many small flowers in a single stalk. Mini carnations produce many buds in one stem.
The traditional meaning of a carnation is admiration, love, and fascination. Nevertheless, different colors of carnation are associated with varied meanings. For example, a white carnation expresses good luck, a pink carnation denotes a mother's love or reminiscence, and a red carnation portrays passion. Striped carnations, on the other hand, are used to send refusal messages.
The scientific name of carnation holds a symbolic meaning of its own. The genus name of the carnation, Dianthus is a Latin word for 'flower of the gods' or 'flower of love'. Pink carnations symbolize the undying love of a mother, and is a traditional flower on Mother's Day. You can simply wear a pink carnation to respect and honor your mother.
Carnations arranged in various patterns are a perfect gift item for all occasions. To mention a few, you can gift carnation bouquets on birthdays, graduation parties, congratulation events, and funerals. Such arrangements are also used in corsages and boutonnieres. Carnation flower balls make ideal wedding centerpieces. Usually, they are arranged with baby's breath as fillers.
The popularity of carnations is also credited to their long shelf life after cutting. The demand for carnations is so high that mass scale commercial plantation is done in greenhouses and open lands. You too can enjoy the beauty of carnations by growing them either indoors or in outdoor gardens.