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Flower Spotlight: Carnations

This month we spotlight the carnation!

Carnation Origins

The carnation is a beautiful flower most likely native to the Mediterranean region. I say “most likely” because it has been so widely cultivated over the last 2,000 years that no one knows for sure the full range of this flower’s natural origins. Still, if you were to try growing your own carnations, you’d need well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil and full sun. Certainly in keeping with a Mediterranean climate!

Forever Friends Be You Bouquet Feeling Hot Hot Hot


Carnation Colors and Meanings

In general, carnations represent love, fascination and distinction however color variations can have their own meanings.

  • Light Red – Admiration
  • Dark Red – Deep love or affection
  • Pink – A mother’s undying love – The legend around this color says that the pink carnation was formed when the Virgin Mary wept for Jesus as he carried the cross to his own crucifixion.
  • Purple – Capriciousness, unpredictability, fickleness and unreliability

  • Yellow – Disappointment, dejection and rejection
  • White – Pure love and good luck
  • Green – Not a natural color, they are often dyed and coupled with white carnations for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Striped – Regret or refusal

As you can see, the carnation covers a wide range of feelings and events. Did someone ask you out but you want to let them down easy? Say, “No” with flowers! Want to tell the world you’re feeling a bit unpredictable? A purple carnation on your lapel will do the trick nicely. Are you wanting a different flower to use on Valentine’s Day? The red carnation says love as loudly as any rose. The carnation is also the official flower for January birthdays!

Need to think of new and creative ways to use carnations? Contact your local florist and let them guide you! Carnations have been popular flowers for over 2,000 years. They have a storied history and are just downright gorgeous. Next time you have flower needs, don’t forget the carnation!

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!

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