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The Carnation is considered January's flower, a floral symbol for the 1st Anniversary of marriage, and is the official flower of Mother's Day.

History of the Carnation

The carnation is one of the oldest cultivated flowers dating back to Ancient Greek and Roman times. The carnation was used for art and decor and was also used in Greek ceremonial crowns. The scientific name of the carnation is Dianthus caryophyllus, where Dianthus roughly translates to "flower of love" or "flower of the gods." The carnation is known for it's ruffled ball shaped bloom, it's fragrance and for the longevity of the bloom.

According to legend, the carnation was discovered by King Louis IX in Africa and used it as a medication against the plague. In the middle ages it symbolized fertility. Later the flower became the flower of the ‘working class’. In England the Catholic church adopted it as the symbol of the Virgin Mary, and the crucifixion of Christ.

In the late 20th century the carnation became the official flower of Mother's Day.

Color Meaning of Carnations

In early times, carnations were typically found in pale pink and peach. Today there is a wide variety of colors, and like the rose the color of the carnation expresses different sentiments.

Color Meaning
Light Red Admiration
Dark Red Love and affection, passion and respect
White Purity and luck, innocence and pure love, women's good luck gift
Pink Gratitude, reminiscence, perfect happiness and thankfulness
Green for St. Patrick's Day
Striped Symbolize regret that a love can not be shared, refusal
Purple indicate capriciousness, whimsical, changeable
Yellow rejection and disdain
Mauve dreams and fantasy

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