Dianthus chinensis ,Chinese Pink (Caryophyllaceae)
In flower now and not bothered by extreme weather conditions, the Chinese pink is a short lived perennial but is better grown as a spring or summer annual. It is easy to grow from seed but is also available as seedlings or as 'potted colour' from nurseries. The small crimped edge flowers are delightful and look as if they have been hand coloured with a paint brush as they are often streaked with darker lines or veins.The colour range is vibrant red, purple or pink and white.This is a good filler plant either mixed with other flowers in pots or in between summer perennials which have not got up to speed for their later flourish.The Chinese Pink has been grown for centuries and is recorded as having been introduced into Europe in 1702 where it was used in the development of new hybrids and varieties including a double form.
In China it is known as Shizhu or stone bamboo as it is grown as a rock garden plant and the leaves and conspicuous nodes on the stems give it a resemblance to a miniature bamboo.