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Making A Comeback: The Carnation

Carnation Comeback

Modern CarnationsDating all the way back to ancient Greece, the carnation was once a prized favorites amongst the elite of society. Even the name is from the Greek words dios (divine) and anthos (flower) — the Divine Flower. For centuries artists and writers used the carnation as a vibrant muse for their creations. Demand for the carnation practically ceased in the 17th century and the flower hasn’t seen much of a revival since — until now!

Trendsetters, fashionistas, high-end florists, and even the queen of decor, Martha Stewart, are turning to the carnation for use in their modern designs.

What Sparked This New Interest In Carnations?

The new interest in carnations was possibly sparked by the efforts of the Flower Council Holland in 2000. The council sponsored promotional events with the theme, “Looking Differently at Carnations.” These events promoted the new aspects of modern carnations.

Modern Carnations – The new varieties of carnations are not like what you’d see at the corner store.

  • Larger, more showier flowers
  • New editions of vibrant, trendy colors
  • New styles, such as the award winning, “Barbatus Green Ball”
  • Intense, clove-like aroma
  • Can last up to 4 weeks with proper care (flower food)

Growers have been focused on creating the best possible products in the most variety of colors. New carnations are available in FAR more than white, pink, red or dyed.

Slowly but surely, florists everywhere are picking up on the carnation comeback trend, although most are still unsure what to even do with them. Brides have even been reported to laugh at the idea of using carnations as a main wedding flower. Still, the market is always looking for something new, and these new, incredible carnations are getting hotter by the minute. Only time will tell if this trend continues, but as reported to the Wall Street Journal, high-style florist and current carnation enthusiast, Bronson Van Wyck, may have to switch allegiance from the flower he likens to a wildebeest. “If carnations get too popular, I’m going to have to find something else.”

Popular Modern Carnation Varieties

‘Barbatus Green Ball’ DianthusEverybody’s favorite carnation right now is, by far, the fuzzy ‘Barbatus Green Ball.’ This little guy doesn’t even look like his carnation cousins! In fact, many florists are calling modern carnations by their genus name, Dianthus, to make them sound a bit more chic to fashion-forward brides. This variety got a lot of attention at the during SAF’s Outstanding Varieties Competition in Orlando. Outstanding traits from the competition: Super long-lasting, furry flowers that add interesting texture and form to any floral arrangement. Ten-centimeter flower diameters make it the biggest dianthus in the market.

Contact your local florists and ask about modern carnations today!

This post is brought to you by local Tacoma florists.
Not in Tacoma WA? No worries, use Flower Shop Network’s handy directory of local florists to find a florist near you.


  1. Constant Reader says:

    Mandy, interesting article. However, you need to run spell-check when you write. Take a look at your title. You also have the wrong word…Should be its, not it’s.

  2. Thanks, Reader!

    This is a very interesting subject. I love that the carnation is finally returning to the limelight. Also thanks for pointing out the errors… I must have had a dumb moment; we’ve all had those days. :)

  3. Dynamic Occasions says:

    We have recently used these for a bridal show and a wedding. They are great, very durable, beautiful, travel well, hold up to the wear and tear, have a week – two week vase life even longer in some cases and make for some interesting conversation. When asked there were very few people if any that knew this was a variety of carnation. Love-love-love these!

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