Have you ever saw blooming Carnation flowers? Or have you ever received it from someone or sent one as a gift to express your feelings? Suppose you are thinking about special, beautiful, and long-lasting flowers. In that case, Carnations are the perfect choice for you to pick, as these flowers are mostly always available year-round, and they even come in various colors. These different colors also represent a different expression of feelings, so make sure to choose the right color.
If you are looking to know more about the carnation’s meaning, its symbolism, the right color to express your feelings, or knowing how to plant them yourself in your home, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you through everything you need and want to know about carnation below!
The Etymology of Carnation Flower
Carnation, or Dianthus caryophyllus in its scientific name, is a flower of the Dianthus species. It is famous for its truffle-like blooms, fragrance, and long-lasting blooming period. It has been cultivated extensively for the last 2.000 years, and its name was mentioned in the Greek literature 2.000 years ago. The name Dianthus was first phrased by the Greek botanist named Theophrastus, from the Ancient Greek words “Dios” that means divine, and “Anthos” that means flower, thus combined as “Dianthus,” making Carnation flowers sometimes also called as “Flowers of God.” The caryophyllus name originated from the Greek word, “Karya,” which means walnut tree, combined with “Phyllon,” which means leaf.
Then, the name “Carnation” believed to have derived from the Latin “corona-ae.” It means a “wreath, garland, chaplet, crown”, because Carnations are one of the flowers that used in ceremonial crowns or arts and decoration of Greek and Roman. It is also believed to have derived from the word “corone” that means flower in Roman, or possibly from the Latin word “caro” that means “flesh.” However, referring to the natural color of the flower, or possibly came from the word “incarnatio” in Christian iconography, means “incarnation” of God in the flesh.
In the legend, it was said that Diana the Goddess took a liking to the shepherd boy. However, the boy turned her down for some reason, making Diana ripped her eyes out and threw them to the ground, sprouting into a Dianthus flower.
Carnation is also called grenadines or clove pinks. The name “Carnation” later became official when a Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus described the flower in 1753, in volume one of his Species Plantarum book.
Carnation Flower’s Symbolism Around the World
Carnation flowers are also the birth flower for those born in January and are used as the official flowers for 1st Wedding Anniversaries. The Carnation flowers are used as a symbol for many occasions worldwide throughout all times, including birth and anniversary flowers.
In the legend of the Ancient Roman, the carnation appeared after the Crucifixion of Christ. The Carnation flowers sprouted from mother Mary’s tears that fell to the earth, thus boosting the theory that the Carnation flowers’ name came from the word “incarnation.” Meanwhile, back in the Victorian era, people usually use flowers to send a “coded message,” and carnations are often used. A solid-colored carnation meant as a “yes,” a striped one meant “I’m sorry, I cannot be with you,” while the yellow carnation meant “no.”
While in Korean Culture, people often use this flower for fortune-telling of young girls. The three freshly cut Carnation flowers will be put in their hair, and the young girl has to observe which of the three flowers will die first. If the top one dies off first, it means her life will be filled with strife. If the middle one dies first, it means she will experience turmoil in her youth. If the lower one dies first, it means she will have to face great challenges throughout her life.
In Chinese Culture, the Carnation flowers are the most commonly used in wedding ceremonies, as it mostly symbolizes love. In Japanese Culture, the red carnation is mostly used during Mother’s Day to symbolizes love. In the United States, they use carnations as the official flowers for Mother’s Day and worn in corsages for prom or other special events. They also use the green carnation on St. Patrick’s Day.
In the Netherlands, the white carnation flowers are used to commemorate the veterans and their resistance in World War II. In France, the purple carnation flowers are used as the traditional funeral flower. In some countries, the red carnation is often used on May Day, symbolizing the labor movement and socialism.
Carnations are also the national flowers of several countries; Monaco, Slovenia, Spain, and Ohio. It is also said to be a symbol of different sororities and fraternities.
Which color of the Carnation Flowers fits your feelings?
Carnations can usually bloom for three to four years. In general, Carnation flowers symbolize devotion for those who are about to tie the knot, symbolize love—be it for your family, significant ones, or a friend, or distinction because of their unique and charming shape, and fascination, because the carnation flowers are captivating and fascinating. Despite those general meanings, each of the carnation flowers has its specific meaning, depending on their colors. Because Carnation flowers have a wide variety of colors, you might be confused about which one you should buy as a gift. From pink, yellow, red, to white, we got you covered! Below you will find the lists of the popular carnation colors and each of their meanings.
White Carnations for a Good Luck wish, Pure Love and Affection
The pure white color of white carnations symbolizes purity and luck, so if you want to gift someone to wish them a stroke of good luck or express affection and pure love, white carnations are good-to-go. The white carnation is available all-year-round. With their soft and tightly ruffled white blooms, they smell sweetly spicy. The white carnations can also mean prosperous life and will be the ideal gift for elders or those who just started something new in their life. The white carnations are said to be the inevitable part of wedding bouquets.
The most popular white carnation is the “Floristan White” carnation with blue-green foliage and large white flowers and proven to be long-lasting.
Pink Carnations for Expressing Gratitude and Motherly Love
When the carnations are first discovered, they’re only found in pink colors, making them the most commonly found color. The pink carnation symbolizes gratitude and motherly love, hence the pink carnation is usually associated with Mother’s Day. But you can also use the pink carnation as a gift for expressing gratitude to your co-worker, your teacher, or a friend.
The most commonly known pink carnations are the “Grenadin Pink” carnations with a deep pink color, the “Chomley Farran” carnation that has bi-color in pink and purple petals, and the “Peach Delight” pink carnation that is peach-colored at first but will turn pink over time.
Red Carnations for Expressing Deep Love and Affection
It’s no surprise that red carnations are the flowers to express deep love and affection. Like the red roses, red carnations will be the ideal gift if you want to express love romantically. The vivid red color of its ruffled petals will surely be the perfect flower for your loved one. It is always available all-year-round and fragrant. A bouquet of fascinating red carnations will surely leave a deep impression on your significant one.
One of the most popular red carnations used for gifts is the “Laced Romeo” carnation with its double red flowers and white stems, “King of the Blacks” carnation with its unique black-like and deep red color, and “Garden Spice Red” carnation with small and frilly red colors.
Yellow Carnations for Expressing Disappointment, Rejection, and Sympathy
Despite their cheerful and pretty color, yellow carnations aren’t what as they may seem. Yellow carnation symbolizes disappointment and rejection, and usually, people use these gifts to apologize to someone or as a gift to express sympathy. Although the yellow carnation is radiant and beautiful flowers, so it can be used in a mixed bouquet for a warming tone. One of the most popular yellow carnations is the “Clarion” carnations and “Golden Sun” carnations.
Purple Carnations for Your Unique Friend or Family
Purple Carnations symbolize capriciousness or irregularity. Purple carnations are the best ones to go when you’re unsure of how your receiver will react. You can send purple carnations for your unpredictable or impulsive friend or family member to send them off before their next adventures in life. Purple carnations will be the perfect gift for someone witty to symbolize their unpredictability in a positive light.
Green Carnations, the Customary of St. Patrick’s Day
Green Carnations are the most popular flower used on St. Patrick’s Day. When celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on 17th March in Ireland, the green carnations are used in corsages and boutonnieres are used as the customary gift to send on a special occasion. Green in flowers usually suggests resilience, good fortune, youth, and health.
Blue Carnations for the Symbol of Peace and Truth
Unlike other carnations with a long history, blue carnations are the flowers that are made by Australian scientists in 1997. Blue carnations are also called as “Moondust Carnation”, blooming in a violet-blue color. While blue carnations don’t have direct meanings like other carnations, blue in flowers are usually associated with peace, tranquility, spirituality, and truth. Blue carnations are also used in many weddings as a reminder of devotion and true love.
Growing Your Own Carnation Flowers in Home or Garden
Carnation flower is a herbaceous plant that can reach about 31 inches in height, and leaves 6 inches long. The leaves usually have grayish or blueish green in color. The original color of carnation is purple-pink, and other colors are produced in selective breeding. Planting carnation seeds can bring a lot of delight especially if you love to see the long-lasting blooming flowers. Planting it once may result in years of beautiful and fragrant flowers.
If you plan to plant carnation flowers in your home or your garden, you should note that carnations should be planted in an area that can get direct sunlight in four to six hours per day. You need to prepare the soil with good drainage and slightly alkalized. If your soil is too fertile or absorbs water too much, the carnation usually won’t bloom properly or wouldn’t have a perfect color.
If you plan to plant your carnation from seeds, put it in a well-drained soil mix without mulch and spread the seeds around 12 inches apart. In the beginning stages (about two to three times a week), do not overwater the seeds. Before watering, make sure your carnation has dried enough. If you are planting your carnation indoors, wrap the container with a clear plastic bag so it will create a greenhouse effect. In two to three weeks, your seeds will begin to germinate.
Make sure to give your growing carnations a drink every two to three times per week and give them fertilizer to make them stronger. If the foliage or petals begin to turn yellow, it means you have overwatered it. Carnations also didn’t need pesticides because they aren’t bothered by pests. Once it has reached its flowering season, pinch off the flowers that were already spent so it will encourage additional blooming. When its flowering season has ended, you need to cut your carnation stems to the ground level. Then, you can let it bloom its flowers again by repeating the steps above until it reaches its flowering season once again.
Carnations are perennial plants that able to live more than 2 years. Even if it is put in the vase, it can remain fresh for up to 14 days.
The carnation flowers are the fascinatingly beautiful and perfect flower for gifts on any special occasion. Be it for personal gifts or simply for decorations, Carnation flowers will be the ideal choice for your daily flower needs. Have you decided which color of carnation that you will choose for the expression of your feelings today?