By TammyWhite
2 years ago

Sweet Williams

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Sweet William is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant native to the mountains of southern Europe from the Pyrenees east to the Carpathians and theBalkans, with a variety disjunct in northeastern China, Korea, and southeasternmost Russia.
It grows to 13–92 cm tall (depending on the variety), with green to glaucous blue-green tapered leaves 4–10 cm long and 1–2 cm broad.
The flowers are produced in a dense cluster of up to 30 at the top of the stems and have a spicy, clove-like scent; each flower is 2–3 cm diameter with five petals with serrated edges; in wild plants the petals are red with a white base.

There are two varieties:

Dianthus barbatus var. barbatus. Southern Europe. Leaves broader, up to 2 cm broad.
Dianthus barbatus var. asiaticus Nakai. Northeastern Asia. Leaves slenderer, not over 1 cm broad.


Sweet William is a popular ornamental plant in gardens, with numerous cultivars and hybrids selected for differing flower colour, ranging from white, pink, red, and purple to variegated patterns.

The plant was introduced to northern Europe in the 16th century, and later to North America and elsewhere, and has become locally to widely naturalised in these areas.

John Gerard praises its beauty but omits any reference to medicinal uses. Its height makes it convenient for flower arrangements. In the Victorian language of flowers, sweet william symbolizes gallantry.
The plant is widely used in borders, rock gardens and informal country cottage style gardens.
Sweet William is a good candidate for a naturalistic garden because its nectar attracts birds, bees, and butterflies. Its flowers are considered edible.

It thrives in loamy, slightly alkaline soil with sun to partial shade. Propagation is by seed, cuttings, or division, but seeds of cultivars will not breed true.
If it is planted from seed after the last frost, it will flower in the second year. If it is planted in flats before the last frost and then transplanted, it may flower in the first year.

Some gardeners recommend deadheading to encourage further flowering. The plant is self-seeding. Sweet William can suffer from Fusarium Wilt which causes the leaves to curl or droop down.

In 1977 the question of possible medical uses was revisited by Cordell. Saponins were found in Sweet William, but there has been little follow-up.

At the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011, Catherine Middleton included Sweet William in her bouquet, a tribute to her bridegroom.
2 years
rmtm198 good one
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mila7272 Beautiful
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Ravidxb very beautiful
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Lucia5 Beauty
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GinaEastabrooks Great article as always
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iiiPhotography Oh super interesting
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soncee Beautiful
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MegyBella Pretty
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