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` Dianthus japonicus
Dianthus japonicus
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I've lost count as to how many knowledgeable plantsman I've stumped with this plant.  Nobody has EVER even guessed the family, Caryophyllaceae,  let alone the genus or species.  Yes folks,  Dianthus japonicus is one of those mystery plants that will not only bring years of visual pleasure to your garden,  but just think of all the fun you can have with your friends, as you test their knowledge of the Plant Kingdom.

The supple,  evergreen foliage has a waxy like feel and appearance.  In mid Summer,  large heads of multiple,  rosy-purplish-pink, long lasting flowers   tower 12"-24" above the basal foliage.

Obviously with a specific epithet like japonicus,  Dianthus japonicus is native to,  duh,  Japan,  where it grows on sandy beaches.  In my mind,  that automatically speaks for the fact that it prefers good drainage.  It could also mean salt tolerance except that I haven't determined if they are native to salt or fresh water beaches.  Here we grow it in full sun to part shade and it does well in average garden soil.

As with most Dianthus species,  Dianthus japonicus is a short lived perennial,  however,  it sets copious amounts of seeds and will stay around forever.

I've isolated a pure white form and hope to have it in production by next year.

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Barry Glick, Sunshine Farm and Gardens
696 Glicks Rd, Renick, WV 24966, USA
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E-mail: barry@sunfarm.com

Last modified February 24, 2009
URL: http://www.sunfarm.com/picks/dianthusjaponicusflr-125533.phtml