Fresh Flower Carnation Flower History
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Flower History
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Carnation Flower History

The carnation is also known as Dianthus caryophyllus or Chinese pink.   The carnation traditionally celebrates fascination and admiration, although different colors of the carnation flower convey different meanings.  White carnations, for example, wish "good luck," while red carnations denote passion, and pink carnations portray reminiscence or a mother's love.  Striped carnations, on the other hand, are said to signal refusal.   These single flowers have a long stem of 18-24 inches that supports many petals also seen in green, yellow, frosted, and multi-colored. 

Legend has it that the first carnation was the earthly manifestation of Mother Mary's undying love for her son, Jesus, resultant from a tear splashed upon the ground under the cross. Carnation flowers are in season year-round to help commemorate a wide array of emotions.   These flowers, after all, are the stuff boutonnieres are made of.  Carnations are also not difficult to grow at home.  

There are over 300 varieties of Carnations Dianthus because hybrids occur naturally due to cross-pollination in the wild.   Carnations can be grown from seed planted indoors or in the garden and will also fill out a container beautifully.  Carnations like to be in well-drained soil and full sun.   Annual varieties are most common while Perennial varieties should be mulched like crazy but are typically hardy.  Neither flowers until the second year, but it's easy to forge their multi-blossomed stems into a single long-stem carnation. As with many things of beauty and intrigue, Carnations are poisonous if ingested. 

Carnation flowers celebrate a rich history indeed.  They can be traced all the way back to Greek ad Roman times.   More recently, the British National Carnation Society was established in 1949 to celebrate this wonderful flower.  The BNCS is the offspring of the National Society for Exhibition of Carnations and Picotees, which was founded in 1850! 

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