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The Carnation is a very popular, versatile and affordable flower, and is available as a single bloom (a ‘Sim’) or multiple buds (a ‘Spray’). The Carnation is also grown commercially in other, lesser know forms, including Sweet William – large sprays of miniature reddish petals – and Chinesin – smaller red and white single-stemmed blooms. Carnations are available in all colours, and even a shade close to blue has been engineered in Australia.

The Carnation has the scientific name Dianthus, and is one of the oldest known cultivated flowers in the world. The flower continues to be most popular in the UK, although it can be found at any florist in the world, at any time of the year. Florists use Carnations for a number of occasions, especially for Mothering Day in Canada and for funerals in France.

The genus ‘Dianthus’ means divine flower, yet each colour of carnation has its own individual meaning. For instance, Striped Carnations mean ‘no’ or ‘regret’, pink means ‘woman’s love’, white means ‘pure love’, yellow means ‘disdain’ and purple means ‘capriciousness’. The majority of people do not know these meanings, and appreciate Carnations purely for their bright and beautiful colours, mild scent and long life.


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