Carnation Flower – Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

Stories and legends about the Carnation flower were made many years back. They started with one age and then transferred onto another, shaping the symbolism of the Carnation flower we know today.

When we take a deeper look into the Carnation flower meaning, the main thing that springs up in our thoughts is its emblematic significance when we try to imagine an ideal present for a person we love.

Flowers express our feelings by sending a unique message to somebody without saying a single word. Carnation flower symbolic was essential in craftsmanship and writing, as they used them to express their feelings and send messages that acknowledged something vital for them.

Flower’s symbolic is important on different occasions when we want to make something more profound and to give sense to something – that is when flowers speak instead of ourselves. In this article, we will talk about the Carnation flower and about its representative sense – its meaning, symbolic, and colors.

What Is The Meaning of the Carnation Flower?

Every flower has its own implying, which is typically founded on the legends and myths encompassing it, in this case – the Carnation flower. Back in times when individuals couldn’t comprehend what was happening around them, they used imagination to clarify and understand the world and nature.

Carnation flower meaning was made on different occasions and the main meanings behind the Carnation flower are:

• Love,
• Affection,
• Distinction.

Carnation flower represents an image of sentiment, love, and affection. Many people consider the Carnation flower as an ideal present for their partners. These flowers come in different brilliant shades and each one of them reveals the most profound and most significant feelings. Affection is always close to love, so if you would like to tell somebody that you are in love with them of you just want to get close to them, the Carnation flower will send the right message to that person.

Carnation flower also represents distinction, so if you would want to make yourself one of a kind in the ocean of individuals who are equivalent, gift the Carnation flower to someone you love. Beautiful Carnation flower definitely stands out from the group with its brilliant shades and lovely scent and will never meet regular standards according to individuals.

The Etymological Meaning of the Carnation Flower

Carnation flower originates from the Latin words – dios (God) and anthos (flower). Its name in Latin is Dianthus and it means flower of God or flower of the Gods. Still, the Carnation flower seems to have a couple of origins and there are two separate streams about its name.

One of these claims the Carnation flower got its name after the Roman word corone that means flower and the other stream claims it pulls its roots from the word caro, which when translated means flesh. The reason why the Carnation flower was named after human flesh is that its original color was pale pink and peachy so that inspired people of that age to give it a bit creepy nickname.

The Symbolism of the Carnation Flower

Carnation flower has a history for more than 2000 years so we are not surprised by its rich symbolism. We can see the Carnation flower in a wide range of colors that symbolize fascination, love, identification, and many more traits.

Carnation flower’s scientific name is Dianthus cariophilis. Latinians gave the Carnation flower name of carophilius, which is a word derived from the Greek word corona. Corona is associated with the coronation so that the Carnation flower symbolizes crowning or crown of flowers. Other Latin name linked to the Carnation flower is carnis or flesh, which is related to human flesh or incarnation. Metaphorically, this means the Carnation flower represents incarnation from God’s flesh.

Old Romans adored the Carnation flower and believed this was a sacred plant. Romans associated the name of the Carnation flower to the Latin Dianthus but translated this as divine. Actually, the Greeks gave a formal name to the Carnation flower and it originates from the name for flower Jove in Greek.

One of the myths associated with the Carnation flower tells a story about the goddess of the Diana. One day, the goddess was returning from hunting, but she didn’t catch a pray. Revolted goddess came across a shepherd who was playing his flute. Diana said that his music and his flute were guilty of her hunting misery. Out of anger, the goddess fought the shepherd and removed his eyes.

However, once she realized what she had done, Diana regretted her action deeply. In the place where the shepherd’s eyes had fallen, the red Carnation flower grew as a symbol of innocently spilled blood.

Carnation flower was always part of decorations in ancient Greece and Rome. Christians worship the Carnation flower a lot, as it is believed that this is the first flower appearing on earth after the Virgin Mary cried for Jesus seeing his carry a cross. As the Carnation flower is related to femininity, it is proclaimed to be the official flower of the 8th of March, the international day of women, and the official flower of Mother’s Day, so you can gift it in these occasions.

Over the years, the Carnation flower grew its importance and became more widespread. Spain, Monaco, and Slovenia proclaimed it as a national flower. Carnation flower is a symbol of the worker’s movement Austria, Italy, and Southeast Europe.

Carnation Flower – Color and Meaning

Every color of the Carnation flower carries a deep symbolism and sends a strong message. Carnation flower comes in several different colors – red, pink, yellow, purple, white, and striped.

Probably the most famous Carnation flower is the red one, as this flower symbolizes emotional attachment, love, affection, admiration. Deeper color of the red Carnation flower, bordeaux, symbolizes passion and desire. As you can see, the red Carnation flower is a powerful one, but you should be careful when gifting it, as it demands gifting it to someone you are in love with.

Pink Carnation flower symbolizes femininity, love (eternal love in Christianity), romance, and affection. If you want to express your emotions in a gentle way, the pink Carnation flower might be the right choice for you. On the other side, you can also gift it to a woman dear to your heart (mother, sister, or a friend) who you are not in love with and send a message she is really special to you.

White Carnation flower is a symbol of purity, innocence, love, happiness, spiritualism, faith, hope, and religion. Christianity worships the white Carnation flower as these are represented and used in religious ceremonies, on weddings and baptisms. White and pink Carnation flowers are perfect gifts for Mother’s Day.

Yellow Carnation flower carries slightly different symbolic than the rest of the Carnation flower colors. Carnation flower in yellow stands for rejection in love aspect. If you find someone unattractive, you can send them a bouquet of the yellow Carnation flowers and gently say they are not your type. Generally, the yellow Carnation flower is meant for all persons you have no romantic interest in.

Purple Carnation flower symbolizes selfish and capricious personality. This flower is indeed beautiful, but you might want to be careful with giving the purple Carnation flower to someone who doesn’t deserve these attributes.

Striped Carnation flower represents rejection and regret. Just as with the yellow Carnation, the striped one sends a message of disinterest in someone in a romantic way and even expresses regret of making contact with someone. As the striped Carnation flower sends a bit unpleasant message, sending it to someone might cause drastic cooling of the contact.

Botanical Characteristics of the Carnation Flower

Turkish Carnation flowers appear in the first century before the new era and they are considered to be the oldest cultivated Carnation flower. This species of the Carnation flower grows in small bushes and lives for more than two years. The Turk accepted the Greek interpretation of the Carnation flower – the flower of the Gods. Turkish Carnation flower has an intoxicating scent that wakes up all your senses and that is the reason why this flower got this nickname.

Once you start growing Carnation flowers in your garden, that will be the beginning of one beautiful experience. Carnation flower is hard to resist as it makes your garden look so beautiful and goes great with other plants that you grow. Ancient people also considered the Carnation flower an ornament and always searched for its varieties. Carnation flower grows easily from seeds.

However, as it might happen you get tricked, purchase the seeds from reliable producers only. Sew your Carnation flowers in June by putting it into lees so the plants develop in the right way. Then wait for July or August and transplant them in a permanent place. Carnation flowers need about 30-40 cm of distance, good nurturing, and a good cleaning.

When it comes to soils, go for well-drained ones with some degree of acid. Cover the Carnation seeds with a 1cm-thick flowerpot as you will stimulate the best germination this way. Feed your Carnation flowers with liquid fertilizer at the beginning of their growth, once a week, but keep it at once a week once your flowers reach expected growth. Water your Carnation flower every couple of days, but try not to add too much water, as these plants don’t like soggy terrains.

Also don’t dig deep holes for your seeds, as you should put a little bit of ground on the top of your Carnation flowers. You will notice the first floral stems in the spring. It would be great to connect them into sticks then, as this way the wind will not damage them. Carnation flower blossoms in May. This is the time when you can select the best Carnation flowers through which you will propagate the next ones. When June comes, cut the flowers and transplant your Carnation flowers into another place.

Carnation flower’s tree grows up to 60 cm and it is slightly laid. Its smooth leaves in green and yellow shades feel like sponges. Each Carnation flower is composed of 5 flowers, while the edges usually come in various colors. As we mentioned, the Carnation flowers have many color varieties, going from red to purple and mixed colors, so you can choose between wide spectrum. Bees and butterflies adore the Carnation flower. July and August are months when the Carnation flower usually produces its seedlings so that you can plant them in their permanent place in September.

Carnation flower adores sun and sunny positions, but it won’t mind even if you plant it in the half-shade. The great thing about the Turkish Carnation flower is that it blossoms in May and then continues to blossom during all summer and until September. As it blooms gradually, the Carnation flower never opens all the flower on one stem but goes a bit slower.

Various diseases might damage your Carnation flowers so you should pay attention to growing them properly. If your flowers still, somehow, get sick, you should remove the infected plant once you notice the change, as the disease might spread to other Carnation flowers. On the other side, if an animal, like a rabbit attacks your Carnation flower you can remove it, but try to build some protection other plants.

Turkish Carnation flower decorates edges of every garden perfectly. As we already mentioned, this flower has a very pleasant scent, you will smell it every time while passing by, as your whole garden will be spellbound by the captivating scent of the Carnation flower. When it is the blossom season, make sure to remove all precipitated flowers in order to enhance the growth of other Carnation flowers in your garden. Carnation flower tolerates weeds badly, so try to get them out as regularly as possible.

Dianthus gratianopolitanus is one of the most popular Carnation evergreen flowers with a round bucket that grows up to 30 cm in height. Still, as it spreads quickly when in optimal conditions, Dianthus might achieve 45 cm. Its leaves will remind you of grass in blue and green color. This species of the Carnation flower has a long blooming period – from 5 to 6 months and it grows in pink and white colors. When picking a place for Dianthus Gratianopolitanus, go for sunny or half-sandy places and permeable moderately moist soils.

Dianthus Plumarius is another evergreen Carnation flower species. It also has blue and green leaves and padded root, while it grows up to 30 cm in height. You can sew Plumarius flowers from May to June and come in pink, white, and red color. Plumarius Carnation grows best in sunny places and loose and wet soils.

Carnation Flower – Fun Facts

Each Carnation flower is covered with waxy substances, while leaves feel spongy.

Carnation flower’s original color is purple-pink, while blue-mauve color is the result of genetic engineering.

If you add some food coloring into the water where you place your white Carnation flower, the white will change into another color in about 24 hours.

White Carnation flower is a must for every bridal bouquet and wedding decorations. It also represents all persons born in January. White Carnation is one of the most common decorations for tuxedos.

The biggest producer of the Carnation flowers and plant cuttings in Colombia.


Now that we told you more about the Carnation flower and its significance and symbolic, we want to tell you that each flower has its own mystery message. Sometimes the flower’s message is more than obvious, while some flowers hide something profound and specific.

Carnation flower’s secret message is spreading love, warmth, and pleasant emotions toward other people, but don’t force yourself into relationships that don’t feel right from the beginning. If we go through our lives with an open heart, we will lead more joyful and increasingly satisfied lives.