Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus)

This old fashioned biennial, or really perennial in my experience, is one of the highlights of the season here.  I grew mine from seeds, and that really is the only way to do it as the newer "sweet williams" that come in packs or pots are quite inferior to the real thing.  They may bloom their first year but they don't have the dense flower heads and wild array of colors and patterns of the real thing.

They do need to go through one winter to flower, and while some plants may be short lived perennials they usually do make vegetative growths at their base which become flowering stems the following year.  I suppose one could separate and root these if one had a particular clone that was especially prized.   But allowing them to seed will give a wide variety of zoned, spotted, and/or bicolored flowers in colors ranging from white through reds and red purples.

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