any of several flowering plants of the genus Dianthus in the pink family (Caryophyllaceae), grown widely in garden borders. The approximately 300 species in the genus are nearly all natives of the Eastern Hemisphere and are found chiefly in the Mediterranean region. They are mostly short herbaceous perennials, many of which are tufted or mat-forming hardy evergreens, often with very showy flowers. There are also some annual forms. Especially noteworthy are the fragrant-flowered grass, or cottage, pink (D. plumarius); maiden, or meadow, pink (D. deltoides); and rainbow, or China, pink (D. chinensis). Most pinks are suited to rock gardens. The small but showy and often fragrant flowers are mostly pink to deep rose, some being red, purple, white, or yellow. Pinks are widely grown in American and European gardens, being of relatively easy culture. Both annual and perennial Dianthus species may be grown from seed sown in the spring in ordinary moist garden soil in a sunny location. The perennials will bloom the following summer and may be increased by cuttings or division of clumps.
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