Sometimes called "Pinks" or "Sweet William." Dianthus is actually a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae. Originally native to Europe and Asia. A few species extend south to north Africa. Common names include carnations (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and Sweet William (D. barbatus). These long-blooming flowers come in a variety of colours, from white to deep maroon to orange. The brightly colored petals are intensely ruffled and have striking dentate margins, growing atop bushy masses of thick blue-green foliage. Hardy and long blooming, with blooms from mid spring until fall.