Dianthus Fringed Pinks

Dianthus Fringed Pinks, carefree species perennials

The Dianthus genus includes hardy perennials most notably the “pinks” (Dianthus superbus), as well as biennials and short lived perennials such as the Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus), and annuals.  Carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) are also a part of the Dianthus genus, some are hardy and some are not.  In northern gardens, some Dianthus can only be grown as annuals.  Select your Dianthus carefully to be sure you are getting a hardy perennial.

Superbus is the subspecies that includes the “pinks”.  Dianthus superbus are referred to as the Garden Pinks or Wild Pinks.  Pinks are easy to grow and very hardy.  Dianthus plumarius are ‘Feathered Pinks’ and heirloom pinks referred to as Large Pinks, very hardy and difficult to find.    Dianthus gratianopolitanus are the Cheddar Pinks.  Dianthus deltoides are Maiden Pinks.  Dianthus monspessulanus are Fringed Pinks.  Dianthus chinensis are the China Pinks.  And then of course, there are the hybrids.  Once planted in well drained soil with plenty of sun, occasional water and division every few years is about all they need.  Cottage garden pinks are excellent low growing, prolific bloomers for the front of a border, rock garden or edging. 

Dianthus monspessulanus are commonly known as the Fringed Pinks.  It’s primary habitat is the grasslands and woodlands throughout Europe.  Like most species plants, they are very tough, easy to grow and require virtually no care.  Monspessulanus can withstand extreme heat, but it does require regular watering during hot periods.  High winds and extreme cold are also not a problem.  Unlike most dianthus, it has an extraordinary sweet perfume fragrance.  The unusual, heavily fringed blooms are borne on long stems.  Blooms are generally pink, but sometimes white. 

Dianthus monspessulanus var. sternbergii ‘Sternberg’s Pink’

  • Common Name:  Fringed Pinks
  • Plant Type:  Herbaceous evergreen perennial
  • Height:
  • Spread:  12-24”
  • Sun/Shade Requirements:  Full sun
  • Water Requirements:  Very adaptable but prefers average watering, do not over water.
  • Soil Requirements:  Soil must be well drained, prefers neutral to alkaline pH.  Will tolerate most soil conditions but prefers a rich soil.
  • Growth Habit:  Loosely tufted clumps
  • Bloom Time: May through August, repeating through September
  • Bloom Color: Pale pink with greenish centers
  • Bloom Form:  3/4” single blooms with five broad petals, deeply notched at the outer edges.
  • Foliage:  Very narrow gray green leaves with pointed tips.
  • Fragrance: Sweet fragrance
  • Pest and Disease Resistance:  Susceptible to crown rot if over watered or if soil is poorly drained.
  • Fertilize: Apply a slow release fertilizer in spring and again in fall.
  • Maintenance: Divide in spring or fall.
  • Other:  Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.  Deer resistant.
  • Hardiness:  Zones 3-9

‘Sternberg’s Pink’ is a species plant, a named variation of monspessulanus species.  The foliage forms a dense mound of medium green.  ‘Sternberg’s Pink’ does prefer a well drained rich soil with regular moisture.  With regular watering it can withstand periods of extreme heat.  Shear back spent blooms to encourage additional blooming.