The flower’s popularity dates back to the Romans, who made wreaths and fresh eau de toilette from carnations. The flower can also be regularly seen in religious paintings, as a symbol of the Virgin Mary and as a symbol for the suffering of Christ. The botanical name Dianthus is derived from dios – God – and anthos, which means flower. God’s flower or the divine flower, in other words.
Colours and shapes of the carnation
Green, deep purple, dark red, fluorescent yellow, champagne, soft orange, salmon pink, white or combinations of colours: the carnation offers consumers a wide array of colours to choose from. There are carnations with a single bud, and spray carnations with multiple flowers. You can also get considerable variety in terms of petals. They have a range of different edge shapes: rounded, serrated or fringed. The carnation is therefore justifiably a fantastic lead performer or support act in any vase.
To enjoy your carnations for a fortnight:
• Make sure the vase is clean.
• Fill the vase with water and cut flower food.
• Remove the bottom leaves.
• Trim the stems.
• Keep carnations away from direct sunlight and ripening fruit.
• Refresh the water every five days to give your carnations the longest lifespan.
How to make a carnation bouquet
The carnation offers many surprising possibilities when it comes to styling. You can create a stark, basic look by displaying carnations with the same shape and hue in a terracotta vase, for example.
Passion, longing and capriciousness: that is what the carnation symbolises.
The various colours of carnation also have their own unique meaning:
• Pale red: admiration
• Dark red: love, affection and longing for someone
• White: dedication, dignity, pure love and happiness
• Pink: “I will never forget you”
• Purple: capriciousness
• Yellow: rejection, disdain and disappointment
• White and red striped: refusal