10 June 2011

Frilly, fragrant, floriferous dianthus

I'm a big dianthus fan. It is one of those genera with seemingly a billion species, and lots of them are really cool. But my current favorite is Dianthus 'Rainbow Loveliness'

They take the typically frilled dianthus petals to a new extreme, creating a cloud of lace when in full bloom! And they don't mess around when it comes to blooming either.
This mass in my back nursery bed (holding space for plants I'm trying or just don't know where to put) has been blooming like this for a couple weeks. What's more, they're fragrant. A sweet, clear spicy fragrance... if you could bottle it unchanged into a perfume, and you'd make a fortune.

I grew my plants from seed -- which was prefectly easy and straightforward. The first year, they bloomed a little, but now, in their second year, they are REALLY showing me what they can do. I want more. Lots and lots more!

8 comments:

Commonweeder said...

What a beautiful plant. I am going to look for some.

Rachelle said...

I think dianthus is one of the lost genuses. It needs a PR firm.

scottweberpdx said...

I'm always so disappointed in nurseries that don't carry the older varieties - that spicy scent has apparently been bred out of all the newer ones - at least the ones I've been seeing the last few years. Annies Annuals seems to be one of the few sources of those old-fashioned beauties :-)

Green Zebra Market Garden said...

I used to grow Rainbow Loveliness. Personally I don't like it...looks too ragged and the colors are kind of washed out. It's definitely interesting though!

Laurie Brown said...

I love that plant! I've been disappointed by so many dianthus because of lack of fragrance, but this one really pays off. I once grew a couple of flats of it, and the scent carried for a very long way- none of this having to kneel down to smell the flowers nonsense!

Tom said...

I've got a couple of these, the purple one is probably my favorite. I've always been amazed at how long lasting they are, a lot of my dianthus die out after about two years but mine's going on 5 and still looks great. I agree with Rachelle about dianthus needing a PR firm.

College Gardener said...

Judging by that picture, your nursery bed looks better than most people's front yard. I wish more people around here were as passionate about unusual plants around here.

Greensparrow said...

Rachelle,
You are right -- people need to know dianthus better! With Rainbow Loveliness, I'd be willing to bet it looks horrible in a pot at a garden center... the airy, graceful habit probably would look floppy and awkward in a small pot.
Tom,
Good to know it has been nicely perennial for you! I wasn't sure how long lived it would be for me.
College Gardener,
Thanks! Though I think my nursery bed actually looks better than my OWN front yard at the moment...