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  Wikipedia: Carnation

Wikipedia: Carnation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus

Carnation is a flower that originated in the Near East and has been cultivated for the last 2,000 years. It is often worn on special occasions, especially Mother's Day and weddings. Its only original colour was pinkish-hued (flesh-like or "carnal", hence the name "carnation"), but later, through cultivation, other varieties of colours -- like red and white -- appeared too. Its Latin name Dianthus comes from the Greek words dios ("god") and anthos ("flower"), and was named by the Greek botanist Theopharastus.

Carnation is also a brand of evaporated milk, known for its red and white label. The brand was acquired by Nestlé in 1985.

Origin & History

Some scholars believe that the name "carnation" comes from "coronation" or "corone" (flower garlands), as it was one of the flowers used in Greek ceremonial crowns. Others think the name stems from the Greek carnis (flesh), which refers to the original color of the flower, or incarnacyon (incarnation), which refers to the incarnation of God made flesh.

Sentiment & Symbolism

Carnations were known as "Jove's Flower" in ancient Rome as a tribute to one of their beloved gods. In Korea, a young girl places three carnations in her hair to tell her fortune. If the top flower dies first, her last years of life will be difficult; if it's the middle flower, her earlier years will bring the most grief. Worst of all, if the bottom flower dies first, the poor girl will be miserable her whole life!

Color Messages

For the most part, carnations express love, fascination, and distinction. Light red carnations represent admiration, while dark red denote deep love and affection. White carnations indicate pure love and good luck; striped symbolize a regret that a love cannot be shared. Green carnations are for St. Patrick's Day; purple carnations indicate capriciousness. Green carnations are, or were, worn by homosexuals as a semi-secret sign of their homosexuality; the allusion was to Green Carnation, a lyric from Bitter Sweet by Noël Coward:

Pretty boys, witty boys,
You may sneer
At our disintegration.
Haughty boys, naughty boys,
Dear, dear, dear!
Swooning with affectation ...
And as we are the reason
For the Nineties being gay,
We all wear a green carnation.

Pink carnations have the most symbolic and historical significance. According to Christian legend, carnations first appeared on Earth as Jesus carried the Cross. The Virgin Mary shed tears at Jesus' plight, and carnations sprang up from where her tears fell. Thus the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love, and in 1907 was chosen by Ann Jarvis as the emblem of Mother's Day, now observed in the United States and Canada on the second Sunday in May.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona