The dianthus family was known as early as 300BC the genus was given the name Dianthus from the Greek 'dios' which means divine and 'anthos' meaning a flower. The wild form was widely distributed over the European temperate zone and was known particularly by historians as inhabiting France and Northern Italy. It was supposedly introduced into England at the time of the Norman Conquest.
The old fashioned fringed pinks D. Plumarus have been grown for many hundreds of years. Some varieties still in existence are 200 or more years old. It was crossing these with perpetual flowering carnations that led to the introduction / development of the modern repeat flowering pinks that were named Allwoodii pinks by the Scientific Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society in recognition of our firms breeding work in producing them.
Divide neatly into two categories, the hardy border (garden carnation) and the greenhouse (perpetual, spray, malmaison), and whilst related they each require different growing techniques.