DEPTFORD PINK
File Size: 33 KB
 
Dianthus armeria  L.
Cloud County, Kansas
Annual or biennial
Height: 6-24 inches
Family: Caryophyllaceae - Pink Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July
Stems: Erect, 1 to several, stiff, forking into 2 branches above, pubescent to nearly glabrous; nodes swollen.
Leaves: Stem leaves opposite, simple, linear, grass-like, 1.25 to 4 inches long, up to 1/5 inch wide, minutely hairy; tips tapering to points; basal leaves somewhat oblanceolate, up to 3/10 inch wide; tips blunt.
Inflorescences: Cymes, 2- to several-flowered or occasionally solitary, terminal.
Flowers: Sessile, subtended by 1-3 pairs of bracts; bracts stiff, ascending, linear, shorter or longer than calyx; calyx tube cylindrical, sharply toothed, about 1/2 inch long, 20-25-nerved, minutely hairy; petals 5, rhombic-obovate, about 1/5 inch long, pink or rose, dotted with white, drying purplish; tips toothed; stamens 10; styles 2.
Fruits: Capsule, about as long as calyx, 4-toothed; seeds many, tiny, dark brown.
Habitat: Pastures, fields, gardens, open woods, waste ground, and disturbed areas.
Distribution: East 1/2 of Kansas.
Origin: Native of Eurasia. Escaped from gardens and now naturalized.
Comments: Related to the carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus). The name Deptford comes from England. The Oxford English Dictionary gives a reference from 1597 to "A Wilde creeping Pinke, which groweth in our pastures neere about London...but especially in the great field next to Deptford". Pink is thought by some to refer to the jagged petal tips which appear "pinked", as with pinking scissors.

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