Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Dianthus Deltoides

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Dianthus deltoides (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Dianthus deltoides (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 20cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

Hardiness: 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Dianthus deltoides is an evergreen perennial, with a mat forming habit. Its glaucous green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 5cm long and 6mm wide. Its pink/ white/ red flowers are up to 2cm across.

Dianthus deltoides, commonly known as Maiden Pink, Spink or Meadow Pink, is native to most of Europe (including the UK) and west Asia. In its native habitat it grows o calcareous grassland and rocky ground.

The etymological root of the binomial name Dianthus is derived from the Greek dios meaning ‘heavenly’ and anthos meaning ‘flower’. Deltoides is derived from the Greek delta, the name of a triangular Greek letter, in reference to the shape of its petals.

The landscape architect may find Dianthus deltoides useful as an effective low growing, evergreen ground cover perennial. Clumps may require division every 3 years to ensure healthy plants

Ecologically, Dianthus deltoides is attractive to nectar loving insects and birds.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Dianthus deltoides their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Dianthus deltoides Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Dianthus deltoides Flower (23/06/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Dianthus deltoides prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It a neutral to alkali pH of soil. It will not tolerate wet soils.

Dianthus deltoides requires little maintenance. Large/ mature clumps may be divided in spring.


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