Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Plant of the Month August 2019 - Dianthus superbus

The herbaceous plant of the month, in my garden,  for August 2019 has to be Dianthus superbus.  Slipping into September, it is still sending out its wonderful perfume..

In this September picture Dianthus superbus shows the seed heads, and when mature, seed will be harvested and shared with friends.  Various sources recommend cutting down spent stems to encourage fresh flowering.  Next year when I have more plants, and  no need to collect seed, I shall experiment with the best way of managing the plants in the garden.

I first acquired a plant after admiring the form of the bloom in a friend's garden.    In a Vase on Monday, a few weeks ago, it was on trial, and I am pleased to say that we have had no effects indoors, so it is low in allergens as far as we are concerned...yet it filled the room with its gentle and sophisticated perfume.

Last year the small plant flowered with a couple of stems only, and from seed from theses scattered on a piece of nearby soil, I had a few germinate and grow through the winter.  I transplanted a couple of seedlings in May into the gravel garden, and this is how they look this week. I am hoping that with a more open situation and less competition from other plants they will be even better!

I have cut back some other plants and came across the remaining of the seedlings growing in situ where the seed was sown,  which, in comparison are not as vigorous as the ones above.  The open situation and the gravel mulch have led to a couple of good strong plants which promise many flowering stems next year.

In the original planting position this is my first plant, shielded from the sun in the morning by an evergreen oak, but having plenty of light from late morning onwards. A little early correct staking would have been useful..but it may well have been planted in the wrong place...and ought to be in full sun?

Only yesterday flicking through the August copy of Gardens Illustrated in an article named 'The Outsider', I came across a description by Hannah Gardner of her trip to the Jungfrau Region in Switzerland.  Hannah came across a huge colony of this plant growing on a sunny grass bank. It is an excellent article and well worth reading in its entirety.  Here is an extract regarding Dianthus superbus:

"Later near the base of the infamous north face, covering a sunny grass bank, I found what I was looking for - a huge colony of Dianthus superbus, in every shade of pink from deep magenta to the palest blush rose.  This is a plant of mesmerising fragility that belies a resilient character.  Its native range extends through Europe, Russia, Japan and south to Taiwan.  Tall, slender branched stems terminate in scented feathery flowers consisting of five, deeply lacerated petals that have a tendency to droop slightly, giving an air of languid nonchalance."

Close up in my garden I love looking at the blooms....

Blooms with 'languid nonchalance'
Do you have a favourite plant this month?  I am waiting for Brian Skeys to come up with his and then will link up with his...Yes he has and what a plant..from June to now from a tuber, rushing to learn how to bring these beauties alongZantedeschia Contor.  I am going to suggest he puts his cultivation notes up for us to learn.


  1. What a gorgeous plant - so delicate and interesting, with a scent and 'languid nonchalance' - love it!

  2. Thanks for the prompt Noelle, plant of the month posted. Your dianthus looks like a spider plant.