January 13, 2011

Flower of the day

Sweet William

Sweet William is a traditional English Garden plant, native to the mountains of southern Europe from the Pyrenees east to the Carpathians and the Balkans. It is also called Dianthus barbatus and Indian Carpet.

It is a biennial and has a two-year life cycle. It grows from 6 inches to 2 foot (15 to 60 cms) long.

Sweet William has simple flowers with serrated petals. They have clusters of deliciously clove scented flowers with notched petals and quite broad leaves with entertaining whiskery tufts poking through the flowers. They come in all shades of lilac, pink, white and red; there are single or double varieties; a selection of markings and eyes. It has green, blue-green tapered leaves which are 4-10 cm long and 1-2 cm broad.

The plant is very easy to grow. It grows best in cool areas and is not suitable for tropical zones. It flowers from late spring through to summer. They need a sunny spot and a well drained soil. It should be watered regularly. Plant them where you want them to flower. They grow well in containers on a balcony or patio as well as in the garden.

They are excellent as cut flowers so grow some for show in your borders or containers and some just for cutting. Sweet William has been a favorite in the flower border for generations

Did you know?

·Sweet Williams are particularly useful for attracting Large Skipper butterflies.

·It is an ideal spring flower often blooming 60 to 90 days after planting under ideal environmental conditions.

·It has - 437,000 average seeds per pound.

·It is named after Saint William of York, William the Conqueror, or Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.

The gift of a Sweet William indicates yearning, a wish for a smile! This fragile blossom is a garden pink, scientifically named Dianthus barbatus, with bearded petals. Sweet William is a pink plant having clusters of small, variously coloured flowers. It is also referred to as bunch pink.

Famous for its spicy fragrance, this blossom belongs to the popular group of ornamental pinks. Of course, even flower experts differ in their interpretation of the ‘true meaning’ of this flower. A gift of sweet William requests, “SWEET LADY,GRANT ME ONE SMILE!"

flower Encyclopedia

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