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Annual or perennial herbs, often with woody base. Leaves opposite, narrow, leaf pairs connate at the base. Flowers solitary or in few- to many-flowered cymes, lax or dense, forming heads. Petals with a long narrow claw widening into a broadly ovate or fan-shaped lamina, entire, dentate, fimbriate or deeply dissected; Stamens 10. Capsule mostly cylindrical, dehiscing with 4 teeth. Seeds peltate, with a facial hilum, embryo straight.


arctic to subtropical Eurasia present, the Mediterranean present
About 300 species fromarctic to subtropical Eurasia, particularly in the Mediterranean region.


None of the species are indigenous in Malesia and even if some are frequent-ly grown in gardens, mostly at higher altitudes, they seem never to become naturalised. It is beyond the scope of this work to describe in detail the cultivated Dianthus species. Few collections are found in herbaria and the key presented here may not satisfy the horticulturist, maybe not even a taxonomist specialised in this genus. For further literature the interested reader is advised to consult Hamilton & Walters, l.c., where also an extensive list of literature can be found.


Schischkin 1936 – In: Fl. U.R.S.S.: 803
Friedrich 1979 – In: Hegi, Ill. Fl. Mitteleur., ed. 2, 3: 984
Pax & Hoffm. 1934 – In: Engl. & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam., ed. 2, 16c: 356
Weissmann-Kollmann 1965 – In: Israel J. Bot.: 141
Tutin & Walters 1993 – In: Fl. Eur., ed. 2: 227
Hamilton & Walters 1989 – In: Eur. Gard. Fl.: 185
Bittrich 1993 – In: Kubitzki et al., Fam. Gen. Vasc. Pl. 2: 232
Reeve 1967 – In: Fl. Turkey: 99