Sunday, June 29, 2008

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)

Deptford Pink (Dianthus armeria)

This pretty little pink flower was introduced from Europe as a nursery plant, but has long since escaped cultivation and grows wild throughout almost all of North America. It is now classified as an invasive weed by the Souther Weed Science Society. It's common name is taken from the Deptford district of South London where it once grew in abundance.

The Ozarks provide excellent growing conditions for Deptford Pink which prefers full sunlight in mesic to dry conditions and flourishes in a clay-loam or gravelly soil that is somewhat compacted and heavy. It is found in open woods, roadsides, railroads, waste ground, pastures and fields. This species declines in high quality habitats because it isn't competitive with many broad-leaved perennial forbs.

The plant is 1 - 2 1/2 feet tall and very slender and grass-like in appearance. It blooms from late spring into mid-fall. Flower clusters form atop the stems. Deptford Pink has a slender taproot and spreads by reseeding itself.



Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hmmmmmmm I don't think I have seen this before. I will keep an eye open for it.

Stacey Huston said...

Marvin, these are stunning and educational once again.. beautiful angle on this flower.. thanks for sharing.

Lana Gramlich said...

Invasive or not, it's very pretty. At least its not a snakehead!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I think we have this about the the area as well..

Bevson said...

Is this the same as Catchfly? I have been doing a wildflower survey of my property and my wildflower guides do not have everything. Sorta frustrating. Your photos are amazing.

Marvin said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments.

Bevson: I'm definitely not an expert on this, but I think Catchflies are in genus Silene. However, both Silene and Dianthus are in the family
Caryophyllaceae (Pink family).

smilnsigh said...

Ohhh, pink!

Anything this pink and pretty, can not be an invasive weed... So there. ,-)


RC Helicopter Pilot said...

deptford pink is really amazing,and it is too tall..

Louise said...

I always loved these growing up in the Ozarks. I had no idea they were once cultivated. Excellent picture.

Twyla Gariepy said...

I am trying to identify a "weed" in my garden and that has led me to this post. I know its a smidge old, but I am hoping you're still looking at the comments on old stuff. It this plant all sticky? like if you were to just grab a handful would you have to go wash the stickiness off your hands?

Marvin said...

Twyla: I don't know. I've never pulled up any Deptford Pink. Here in Arkansas, it's not prolific enough to imagine it as a garden weed, but that could be different where you are. I did a little bit of research, but couldn't find anything definitive about Deptford Pink's stickiness. The closest I came was the Illinois Wildflowers website which said the foliage of all members of the Pink Family (Caryophyllaceae)tend to be high in saponins which would tend to make them feel sicky.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.