What’s red and white and edible? It’s not a candy cane, but it’s just as recognizable: it’s the Sweet William flower!
Sweet William characteristically are red and white with the attractive serrated edges. They are also available in shades of red, pink and purple.
The Sweet William (dianthus barbatus) is native to central and southern Europe. It is a popular ornamental plant in the garden. They will be ideal for borders, rock gardens and cottage gardens. These bright blooms will attract bees, birds and butterflies! It is a biennial, meaning that it will flower in its second year of growth. It is grown from seeds that are sown in the summer. Plants bloom the following spring after a winter cold treatment.
The plant is available year round, with each stem producing a ‘spray’ of several flowers- the average being 10-15 blooms per stem. The average stem length is a minimum of 40cm and a maximum of 67cm. Each bloom opens into a delightfully rounded petal with a gorgeous rounded center.
This flower would make a lovely addition to a wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or just about any style of flower arrangement.
The name Dianthus comes from Greek words dios – divine and anthos – flower. The two words put together mean “flowers of God.”
Fun Flower Facts About Sweet William:
- the origins of name Sweet William is unknown, but some people suggest the name was said to honour the 18th century Prince William, duke of Cumberland
- the flower is edible
- in the language of flowers, Sweet William represents gallantry
- When Catherine Middleton married Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, she carried Sweet William flowers in her bouquet