Wild Pink Dianthus, African Carnation; Grasangelier
20 – 75 cm
Pink; September to May; spring; summer; autumn
sun; grassland; sandy soils; rockery; roof; paving; narrow spaces; container; wildlife insects
grassland; woodland; rocky places; bushveld
Thicket; Highveld; Subtropical East Coast; Bushveld savanna;Karoo
Find informative indigenous gardening articles in our web magazine - www.theindigenousgardener.co.za
The Dianthus genus is large, distributed through Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, but it is our wild Dianthus that, after much hybridization, has resulted in the cultivated carnations that are such favourites around the world. This clumping perennial has attractive lance-shaped, green-grey leaves and beautiful frilly pink petals and works well as a groundcover at the front of the bed. Its natural habitat is open grassland and forest margins in full sun, on grassy slopes and rocky outcrops – good drainage is thus important. The small flowers are best seen close by, so plant alongside a sunny pathway through your grassland bed or in the front of your bed. The Wild Pink Dianthus forms tight clumps providing good cover for the soils. Clusters of 4 – 7 flowers grow on the tips of sturdy branching stems of 20 – 75 cm tall each one around 40cm in diameter. Flowering display begin in September and continue until May. In the garden, they require a sunny spot in well-drained soils. Propagation is by seed, from which they will flower in the second year, cuttings from which they flower sooner, or division. Deadhead regularly and cut back to encourage re-sprouting. Wild plant populations are in decline.