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I am on a quest for a lovely and truly fragrant pink.
Once long ago I got a "bonus packet" of seed from Gurney's along with my regular order. The seeds were dianthus of some variety I can't recall. The plant was a durable, bushy perennial (I'm in USDA Zone 9/Sunset Zone 16/17, San Francisco Bay Area) in my yard. It had delicate blue-green leaves and pink and white ruffled blossoms that looked like chunks of salt water taffy. It might have even been fragrant, but I don't really remember.
I've been looking for a plant like it. The local garden center offers Dianthus chinensis, Chinese pinks (Telstar variety etc.) which are compact and vivid in color, but have no fragrance at all. I bought a few of these and also a D. caryophyllus, a compact carnation or clove pink (Cinnamon Red Hots variety). This plant has delicious little red blossoms that smell like clove chewing gum. Yummy.
There is also a variety of D. chinensis called "Gaiety" which is a ruffled variety. The seed packet says its blooms are fragrant, but the Sunset Western Garden Book says D. chinensis is never fragrant. D. chinensis seems to be the variety most often offered in local nurseries and on seed racks.
The Sunset Western Garden Book lists the fragrant varieties of dianthus as D. caryophyllus (carnation or clove pink, border carnation) D. deltoides D. gratianopolitanus/D.caesius (cheddar pink) D. plumarius (cottage pink) and D. 'Rose Bowl' D. 'Tiny Rubies'
It seems that fewer seed companies offer the fragrant dianthus varieties. Burpee's might have one that I want, an heirloom variety.
Your experiences and feedback are appreciated. Thanks in advance.
-- dkra
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