Dianthus gratianopolitanus3Cheddar pink is an evergreen herbaceous perennial native to southern England east to Poland amd the Ukraine. It is a member of the carnation family, Caryophyllaceae, that also includes baby’s breath, Lychnis, and soapwort. The plant forms a large dense mound of dull grayish green lanceolate leaves less than 1/8 inch wide and five inches long. The pink to rose colored flowers appear in the spring and are one inch wide, fragrant, and carried singly or in pairs. Deadheading keeps the plant flowering until late summer. Many cultivars are available differing in flower color, fullness, and size as well as plant height. A good choice for the front of a border, rock garden, or wall garden. The generic name Dianthus comes from the Greek words Dios meaning of Zeus and anthos meaning flower. The specific epithet gratianopolitanus refers to the city of Grenoble, France.

Type: Evergreen herbaceous perennial

Bloom: Pink to rose colored flowers one inch wide, fragrant, carried singly or in pairs; spring

Size: 6-12” H x 12” W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained, slightly alkaline

Hardiness: Zones 3-9

Care: Deadheasd to prolong bloom

Pests and Diseases: Crown root in wet soil

Propagation: Seed, terminal cuttings

Companion Plants: Lamb’s ear, artemisias, columbine, bellflowers (Campanula spp.), sedums, dwarf yarrow

Outstanding Selections:
‘Bath’s Pink (soft pink flowers, very floriferous)
var. grandiflorus (1 ½” wide flowers)
‘Firewitch’ (magenta flowers, 6” H)
‘Petite’ (dwarf plant and flowers; 3-4” H)
‘Splendens’ (deep red flowers)
‘Tiny Rubies’ (double deep pink flowers; 4” H)

By Karen