This species is in perfection about the last of June. The foliage is more grasslike, and the plant much hardier, than the Carnation. The double varieties are very desirable, not only for their beauty, but also for their fragrance. They may be propagated by dividing the roots, by layers, and by pipings. The surest mode of propagation is by layers, but piping is generally resorted to for Pinks. These are shoots cut from the plant at the second or third joint, according as they are more or less woody or juicy, and inserted, close to each other, in a bed of well pulverized proper compost; water moderately, so that the earth may adhere closely about the shoots; when the moisture has somewhat evaporated from the leaves, cover them up with a hand glass, which must be forced a little depth into the ground so as to confine the air. This need hardly be removed until the plants have taken root; they must be shaded, however, the first fourteen days, with mats over the glasses, when the sun is very hot. If properly managed, not one in twenty will miss, and between one and two hundred may be planted under one glass; in a month or six weeks they will be sufficiently rooted to move. Carnations are sometimes raised from pipings, but they are not so sure as Pinks to take root. This variety is often called the Paisley Pink, on account of its having been raised in the highest perfection among the weavers near Paisley, in England. A good Pink should have a strong, elastic, and erect stem, not less than one foot high. The petals should be large and broad, with very fine-fringed edges, the nearer rose-leaved the better. The ground-work of the flower should be pure white, or rose-colored, with a dark, rich crimson, or purple eye, resembling velvet; if nearly black, so much the richer. A delicate margin, or lacing, round the entire petal, if of the color of the eye, increases its beauty. The flower should be from two to two and a half inches in diameter.
This species is a biennial of dwarf habits; of great beauty, but without fragrance. The foliage is of a yellowish green. It flowers from seed the first year; it is perfectly hardy, and flowers strong the second year. The colors are exceedingly rich; crimson, and dark shades of that color approaching to black, are often combined in the same flower, with edgings of white, pink, or other colors. Seed, saved from double flowers, will produce a great portion of double varieties. In beds where there may be a hundred plants, scarcely two will be found alike. They are in flower a number of months. Of this species a number of fine dwarf varieties, not more than six inches high, have been obtained. D. latifolius. Broad-leaved Pink, is a variety of D. Chinensis, very ornamental; it has oblong-lanceolate leaves; flowers crimson and various shades of red; in bloom all the season; an imperfect perennial. A Pink, called Cook's mule, is a beautiful hybrid, somewhat like the Broad-leaved Pink. The flowers are of the deepest crimson, very double, and appear in succession through the season.
Is an old inhabitant of the flower-garden, and was much esteemed in Gerarde's time, "for its beauty to deck up the bosoms of the beautiful, and garlands and crowns for pleasure." It is an imperfect perennial, but fine varieties are perpetuated by-dividing the roots, soon after flowering in June and July. It is easily raised from seeds. A bed of fine sorts presents a rich sight; it sports into endless varieties, viz.: white, pink, purple, crimson, scarlet and variously edged, eyed, and spotted. There are also double varieties, but in my opinion, no improvement over the single.
There is a large class of these beautiful flowers, produced from crossing the different species of China, Broad-leaved, Imperial, Sweet William, and other species, which are worthy of cultivation; the seed can be obtained at some of the seed stores. The greatest novelties that have appeared in the Pink line for many years are the celebrated Heddewigii varieties raised from seeds obtained.from Japan. The following description is from a seedsman, in Erfurt, Prussia:-
D. Chinensis-Heddewigii, D. Chinensis giganteus, - (Heddewig). These superb pinks are splendid beyond expectation. The raiser, Mr. Heddewig, ' received the golden medal,' in Petersburgh, in 1858, and besides there was a prize set on them by the Horticultural Society and by the Botanical Society in Regent's Park. The plant is very proliferous (free flowering,) and of a dwarf compact size. The flowers are very large, and have a diameter of nearly three inches; they are of different colors and shades; rose-colored, crimson; brown, dark-brown and white, marbled-flamed, etc. An excellent acquisition."
Described by the raiser, Mr. Heddewig, as follows:- "I had the fortune to raise from Japan seed, a new splendid Pink, which Dr.
Kornicke describes already in Regels Gartenflora as Dianthus laciniatus. I raised last year 800 seeds from, it, which. I sowed early; and already at the end of May they commenced to display their most magnificent flowers, of a diameter of four inches. I was greatly rejoiced to see a part of them of splendid, dense, double flowers, in the greatest variety of colors, viz.: pure white, rose, lilac, carmine, crimson, purple-violet, the darkest black-brown, spotted and striped; a splendid sight, far beyond description. August 3, 1859, I exhibited 18 plants in as many different varieties, and received the highest reward for novelties, 'the Golden Medal,' from the Imperial Horticultural Society. This Pink grows two feet high; the small leaves have a length of four inches, and the double varieties, from their dense double form, and the laciniate petals, somewhat resemble the flower Papaverpceoniflorum. Some plants endured our last Russian winter without being covered." I have had the pleasure of cultivating these novelties since 1861, and find them to correspond nearly with these descriptions. I have not had any that attained a greater, height than a foot, or foot and one-half, but have had all the shades of color mentioned by Mr. Heddewig. The foliage is somewhat glaucous and lanceolate. Both varieties produce double flowers. To ascertain whether they would survive over winters, I protected' a large bed of them with leaves in the autumn of 1864, and they came out bright in the spring of 1865 and flowered superbly during the summer. If they are not hardy enough to stand the winter without covering, they are very valuable acquisitions to the flower-garden as annuals. Like the China Pinks, they are destitute of fragrance.
A remarkably novel and beautiful hardy flower-garden plant, from M. Ambroise Verschaffelt, nurseryman, Ghent. It has a neat and compact half-shrubby, densely-branched habit of growth, from nine to twelve inches in height. The flowers, in their general aspect of growth, resemble a large specimen of the Florist varieties of Pinks, as grown for competition, but differ in showing a single expansion of flower-lobes, rather than of double petal series, and each entire blossom being from two to three inches in diameter, whilst the entire series of petals, instead of all combining to form a single blossom, with the usual dark ray or' center, as is the case in the varieties above quoted, in the present example range themselves into a series of distinct inner flower circles, or rays, each marked with its own beautiful series of colored spots at the base, converging to a crimson belt or zone, and together forming a large aggregate cluster or flower-head. The arrangement of these concentric series of picturesque petal-rays within one simple base or crown, forms one of the most novel and singular combinations yet known in gardens.
This is one of the most fragrant of the Pink family; the petals of the flower are very much cut or fringed; one foot and a half high; flowers in July and August; white or rose color.
A pretty little perennial, suitable for rock-work, with creeping roots; although not aspiring (not exceeding 3 or 4 inches in height) it soon takes possession of all the ground in the neighborhood. The flowers are small, white, or flesh colored, variegated with a circle of red or purple. D. are-narius, or Sand Pink; D.plumarius, D. diminutus, and some other dwarf species are also proper for rock-work.