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.

Visual Notes:

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.


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Looking for flowers in New York City? Visit our Event Gallery for inspiration. Or see our daily selection at Starbrightnyc.com.




Author: Starbright Floral Design of NYC

We are a team of dedicated professionals all entering as one. Starbright Floral Design is the company we are all a part of. The Official Florist sometimes is a designer, or a flower buyer, a partner, the marketing department or sometimes the guy who delivered your flowers! We invite you to visit our website and stay in touch... www.starbrightnyc.com.

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