Sweet William

A handsome summer flower

Dianthus barbatus, known as Sweet William, is the handsomest flower in any summer garden. It attracts bumblebees, honey bees and butterflies —and placed in the vase, it attracts the gaze of passers-by.


Sweet William’s petals are red, pink, violet, purple or white. There are also modern bicoloured varieties, such as white and red or purple and white. It’s a colourful flower that livens things up in bouquets. 


Nobody is sure exactly which William our Sweet William flower is named after. The name however suggests that this flower stands for charming good looks.  


Dianthus barbatus is related to the carnation, Dianthus, whose name is derived from Dios (God) and anthos (flower). Sweet William is native to the Mediterranean, southern and central Europe. The first references to the bloom were in the 16th century, when it was cultivated in monastic gardens. 

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