Carnations have had a rough time over the past decade or so. They were once one of the most popular flowers in the world, but have since been passed over. But that’s all changing, and we’re happy to announce: carnations are making their much-anticipated comeback. Like Martha Stewart, they too deserve a second chance.
Speaking of the Queen of Homemaking, she’s a self-professed carnation fangirl and knows the power and charm they carry when done right. And we couldn’t agree more.
We’re not going to lie to you, though. Some of the bad rap carnations have received is no doubt justified. The cliche carnation boutonnière at every prom and homecoming, for example. They’re ubiquitous and sometimes overdone—but don’t let that have an effect on their charm.
Because let’s face it. Those are just surface level details—a stereotype if you will. There’s a reason they were once so popular; there’s a reason Martha likes them—and we’re not going to question her wisdom.
With objective eyes, there are no two ways around it. Carnation flowers are delightfully colorful, dynamic, and—when arranged in a tasteful and thoughtful manner—downright stunning.
And that’s why, after gifting a pink carnation bouquet to Carrie in “Sex in the City,” Berger said, “I hear they’re making a comeback.” You’re right, Berger! They are, indeed!
So strap yourself in and let’s talk about some interesting and fun carnation facts:
Carnations are the “Flowers of the Gods”
The scientific name for the carnation flower is “Dianthus caryophyllus” (don’t worry, we struggle pronouncing it, too.) In Greek, dios means Zeus or God and anthos means flower. So the literal translation is “flower of the gods” or “heavenly flower.” Either way, we can all agree: carnations are undoubtedly divine!
Carnations Have a Rich History
As you could’ve probably guessed (considering they dubbed it the “flower of the gods,”) carnations were revered in Ancient Greece. And the same is true for the Ancient Romans.
These two cultures were the first to cultivate the flower over 2,000 years ago, making it one of the oldest cultivated flowers in the world. They also wore carnations as ceremonial garlands and used them as decorations in many coronations (hence, where the name “carnation” comes from.)
And Heaps of Symbolism
Carnation flowers also have a ton of symbolism and meanings. In Christian lore, it was said that carnations sprouted from the ground where the Virgin Mary’s tears landed as she watched Jesus carry the cross, forever associating the flower with motherly love.
In general, carnations represent fascination, distinction, and love. But each specific carnation color also carries its own meanings:
- White carnations symbolize purity.
- Red carnations symbolize love and passion.
- Pink carnations symbolize gratitude.
- Purple carnations symbolize capriciousness.
Carnations Come in Nearly Every Color
Even though you can find carnations in nearly every color of the rainbow, it wasn’t always this way. In fact, their natural colors are pinkish purples. Shades of white, yellow, orange, red, and green were created through selective breeding. Deep blues and purples were created through genetic engineering (#science, am i rite?)
You Can Change the Color of Your Carnations
If that wasn’t cool enough, you can also alter the color of a white carnation by submerging it into a mixture of food coloring and water. In under 24 hours, it’ll absorb the color, and you’ll have a different color carnation flower to throw in your Bouq (#magic… JK, still #science.)
Carnations are Edible
While they might not be the most delicious things in existence, carnations are often used as an edible decoration/garnish on salads, cakes, and other desserts. On top of that, breweries, distilleries, and wineries also sometimes use carnations as a flavoring agent.
According to people with tastes buds though, you’re not missing out on much if you’ve never tasted one. They happen to be exceptionally bland.
Carnations Can be Used to Treat Physical Ailments
We aren’t doctors, so we can’t speak to their effectiveness, but we can say that people in the past have used or attempted to use carnation flowers as a means to treat various ailments, including hair loss, muscle tension, and skin problems (we hope for their sake it worked.) Also, carnations are still used to this day in many perfumes, thanks to their spicy fragrance similar to cloves.
So we hope you can tune out all the naysayers out there and appreciate the many, many good aspects that carnations bring to the table.
I mean… Let’s get real.
Who are you going to listen to? Fangirls like Martha? Or all the haters?Shop All