Flower Notes /
Probably native to the Mediterranean, the carnation has been continuously harvested for over 2,000 years – along with jasmine and roses, carnations are among the three oldest “beauty” crops cultivated by ancient man. Carnations are very, very easy to grow – all they need is full sun, loose neutral soil and a little water. They’re full of symbolism, too – get them in white for someone who could use good luck, like a recent graduate, or for a going-away gift when someone changes jobs. The pink carnation stands for unforgettable love – especially from Mom! The purple carnation symbolizes unpredictability and wit, so it’s good for a birthday or bridal shower. Striped carnations symbolize regret – they’re ideal for funerals. The yellow blooms signify disappointment – this is the perfect bloom for a bouquet that says “I don’t want to date you anymore” (say it with flowers, right?) Be careful giving red carnations – while they stand for “deep love,” they also stand for “socialist” and “irregular military member,” depending on where you are.
Some people say that carnations almost look like folded tissue-paper, cinched in the middle and “fluffed up” around the cinch. Other people say these paper flowers look like carnations. Either way, carnations have a unique appearance and are available in a range of colors and patterns – this lets them stand alone in a simple arrangement, star in a busier arrangement, and support their fellow flowers when it’s another bloom’s turn to shine. They are the Ian McKellen of the flower world – they’re great in everything, and your grandmother probably loves them. And in case all the symbolism didn’t make it clear, carnations come in many different colors – your florist should be able to help you source exactly what you’re after.
Flower History Notes:
Since first being cultivated over 2,000 years ago carnations have become one of the most popular flowers in the world. The name comes from (most likely) one of two places – either from the ancient greek “corone,” or flower garlands worn during formal ceremonies, or from the Latin word “caro,” which means “flesh” (the first carnations were light-pink). Not to get too political, but carnations are among the first GMO-crops – it didn’t take long before ancient farmer-scientists figured out how to breed (repeatedly and reliably!) a whole range of carnation colors.
Carnation Flower Fun For Kids or DYI Decor Needs :
You can make your own color changing carnations! All you need is some food dye, a glass of water (or two, for a special trick) and a white carnation. The basic principle is simple – cut flowers drink the water, the water carries the dye, the dye gets left in the petals. If you split the stem in two (make sure you use a good knife or pair of scissors – and make sure an adult does this part!) and stick it in two glasses with two different colors of water, you’ll get a two-colored flower. You can tell your young’n that the flower is drinking in response to evaporation. The plant is basically like a sponge – as water evaporates off the plant’s leaves and petals, more water moves up the stem to take the evaporated water’s place.
Looking for flowers in New York City? Visit our Event Gallery for inspiration. Or see our daily selection at Starbrightnyc.com.