Sweet scent and sweet memories seem to surround Carnations. Their fragrance brings any floral arrangement to life.

They’re also the Birth Flower of January – here’s a little bit of history on this versatile gem of the flower world.


Carnations History

Carnations came from some rather regal beginnings. If you’ve ever recognized their wonderfully fresh, slightly spicy scent, you may have wondered why they’re not found front and center in more bouquets.

You’re on the right track – Carnations have been around for centuries, due to their timeless appeal.

  • Both the ancient Greeks and Romans preferred white carnations for decorating their sacred statues.
  • They were also used in ceremonial crowns – no humble uses for this January flower!
  • The Middle Ages saw them given as wedding gifts – their meaning was faithfulness and happiness.


Carnations with Gifts

When designing a carnation arrangement for your January-born friends and loved ones, it’s fun to know some of the traditional meanings of their colors. One of the appealing characteristics of the flower is the endless array of shades it can take on.

Carnations Pink

At their most basic, Carnations can represent intrigue, love, and nobility.

They also have some more specific meanings with particular colors.

  • Deep red carnations express an equally deep love.
  • A lighter shade of rouge symbolizes admiration.
  • Pink carnations have long been associated with motherly love and devotion – which also ties in nicely with their traditional wear on Mother’s Day.
  • Bicolored Carnations have been around for centuries, believe it or not.


Carnations Decoration

The next time you’d like to impress some friends with some botanical trivia – try some of these Carnation facts out.

  • Carnations have been adopted as their National Flower by Monaco, Spain, Colombia, and Slovenia.
  • Green versions have been used for decades to celebrate Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Red and pink Carnations are an important part of Korea’s Parents Day. They’ve become an international favorite, and have an impeccable pedigree as a classic touch in a lapel or worn as a corsage.
  • The name “Carnation” is believed to relate to the Greek word “Corona” – or “Crown”. This stems from their use as the same in ceremonies.
  • Their scientific name: “Dianthus” can be traced back to a melding of the Greek words for “divine flower”.
  • Carnation petals are one of the ingredients used to make the heady French liqueur Chartreuse.
  • The divine little flower with spice has also been featured in some iconic art pieces – it was a favorite of Dutch Masters, painters like John Singer Sargent and Alphonse Mucha, and even Banksy in modern times.
  • It’s also a part of heraldic family crests – where it’s also known as the “Gilly Flower”.

Carnations Bouquets

No matter which way you turn, the carnation just seems to show up with a reminder of its noble beginnings.

Celebrate January birthdays with its lasting blooms, royal associations, and all sorts of good wishes. It really does personify the joy of a celebration with its uplifting scent!



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