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Dianthus gratianopolitanus

Dianthus gratianopolitanus
Seedling from our original straight-pink specimen
cheddar pink
Dianthus gratianopolitanus

Common name cheddar pink
Family caryophyllaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z3-8)
Flowers rose (May-June)
Size 12"
Light sun
Cultural notes prefers alkaline soil
From seed germinate at room temperature
Flowers first year from seed sown indoors early.
detailed seed-starting info below

One of the first perennials to grace our garden (although at the time I thought it was maiden pink, D. deltoides), our original specimen was a sight to behold in early spring, with its blue-green grass foliage covered in pink flowers, sprawling in a circle almost two foot across. Sadly, it bit the dust after a good number of years of service. Since then, I've tried to re-establish it from seed collected from the original plant, and have also started several other varieties from traded seed. They all form a mat of narrow, gray-green foliage spreading up to 16-inches wide (although ours usually don't reach those proportions), and fragrant flowers in a range of colors, depending on cultivar. We've had pure pink, purplish pink with white markings, and a contrast-rich burgundy-white bicolor. The petals on some are fringed, while others are smooth-edged (it may be that I'm describing two different species here – in which case, please set me straight). Some years, they've managed to start blooming in early July, from seed started indoors that spring.

cheddar pink

This little beauty grew from a plant I had marked as D. gratianopolitanus, but the flowers don't look like any of that species that I've seen. Dianthus continues to confound me.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

About my plant portraits
PlantLinks to other web pages about Dianthus gratianopolitanus

Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '03 trade. Baggy 70F (50%G, 4-7d)
  2. Seed for 'Sops in Wine' from '04 trade. Baggy 70F (15%G, 4-8d). According to some internet references, this is actually D. plumarius, with white double flowers.

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