Dianthus barbatus L.

Sweet William

Perennial to 70 cm tall. Leaves mostly narrowly lanceolate elliptic, midrib prominent with two parallel lateral veins. Flowers stalkless in heads surrounded by leafy pointed epicalyx bracts about as long as the flowers. Sepals with pointed teeth. Petal blades to about 1 cm long with beard, reddish purple.

Montane S Europe

Long cultivated, often as an annual with many double-flowered and coloured cultivars.

Leaves to 2 cm broad; individual flowers stalkless in bracted heads.


D. knappii is similar but has yellow flowers.

Source: Glancy, A.; Spencer, R. (1997). Dianthus. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Caryophyllanae
order      Caryophyllales
family       Caryophyllaceae
genus        Dianthus L.