Carnation Varieties – All Kinds & Types Based on Their Looks

You can classify carnations based on their looks into four main types: Standard carnations, Dwarf or Border carnations, Miniature or Spray carnations, and lastly Fancy carnations.

Different Types Of Carnations

Carnation flowers, scientifically referred to as Dianthus Caryophyllus, are renowned for their vibrant colors, delightful fragrance, and exceptional longevity. These blossoms trace their origins to Europe and Asia.


Carnations hold diverse cultural and symbolic significance, making them a favored choice for a variety of occasions such as weddings, festivities, and commemorations.


With a spectrum of colors available, each shade carries its own meaning. For instance:
Red Carnations symbolize deep love and admiration whereas, white carnations represent purity, innocence, and remembrance.


Moreover, there are captivating carnation varieties that further enrich the world of carnations, such as Red Ruffle, Pink Dream, White Sim, Purple Pizzazz, Fireworks, and a lot more.


Carnations are esteemed not only for their aesthetic allure but also for their remarkable vase life, outlasting many other cut flowers when cared for properly.


As a result, they continue to hold a special place in various cultures and occasions, offering a spectrum of emotions through their varied colors and forms.


Different Types of Carnations

Based on their usage and appearance, Carnations can be divided into four major categories that are ‘Standard carnations, Miniature carnations, Dwarf carnations, and Flamed carnations.


These have multiple sub-varieties within each one of them.


1) Standard Carnations


Standard carnations, scientifically known as “Dianthus caryophyllus,” are a widely cultivated flowering plant. These carnations are the traditional type of carnations that are characterized by their lush, densely petalled, and fringed flower heads.


They come in various shades of red, pink, white, yellow, and even bi-color or variegated options. The petals often have a slightly serrated edge, adding to their distinctive appearance.


Popular standard carnation types include:


A. ‘Master’ Carnations


Bloom Color Rich and velvety red blooms
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer


Intense and captivating, Master carnations add a touch of drama to gardens and arrangements, standing out with their alluring blooms.


B. ‘White Sim’ Carnations


Bloom Color Snowy white blooms
Bloom Time Spring


White Sim Carnation species bring an aura of purity and elegance to landscapes and floral displays, embodying grace and sophistication.


C. ‘Crimson Flare’ Carnations

Bloom Color Intense crimson blooms
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer


Crimson Flare carnations evoke passion and allure, infusing surroundings with their striking and dynamic demeanor.


D. ‘Pink Kisses’ Carnations

Bloom Color Blush pink blooms
Bloom Time Late spring


Tender and affectionate, Pink Kisses carnations convey sentiments of love and endearment, leaving a gentle and heartwarming impression.


E. ‘Red Rocket’ Carnations

Bloom Color Deep red blooms
Bloom Time Late spring


With fiery energy, Red Rocket carnations command attention, igniting spaces with their vibrant and charismatic presence.


F. ‘Purple Rain’ Carnations

Bloom Color Regal purple blooms
Bloom Time Late spring


Purple Rain carnations offer a regal touch, showering gardens and bouquets with an air of aristocracy and enchantment.


These are the different types of carnation flowers popular for several reasons like longevity, versatility, fragrance, cultural significance, and garden ornamentals.


You might also like to know how to grow carnations from seeds or plant cut carnations flowers directly for propagation. We have got you covered for that as well.


2) Miniature or Spray Carnations:


Miniature or spray carnations are charming variations of the traditional carnation, distinguished by their multiple dainty blooms on a single stem.


These clusters of flowers bring a delicate, textured allure to bouquets and arrangements, available in a diverse palette of colors. Their longevity and intricate form make them favored choices for adding grace to various floral displays.


A few distinct features of the Miniature or Spray carnations are clustered blooms, diverse color range, delicate appearance, a long vase life, airy texture, and multiple flowers per stem.


Let’s have a look at some of the prettiest miniature carnations:


A. ‘Baby’s Breath Carnations

Bloom Color Delicate white flowers
Bloom Time Late spring


Baby’s Breath carnations exude innocence and grace. Among all carnation varieties, they are considered to be most pure. Their tiny, white blooms often accompany other flowers, adding an airy and romantic touch to arrangements.


B. ‘Angel Pink’ Carnations

Bloom Color Soft pink flowers
Bloom Time Spring


Angel Pink carnations embody tenderness and compassion. Their delicate pink blooms hold a serene beauty, spreading comfort and kindness wherever they bloom.


C. ‘Rainbow Love’ Carnations

Bloom Color Multicolored blooms
Bloom Time Spring to early summer


Rainbow Love carnations celebrate diversity with their vibrant hues. Each bloom represents a spectrum of colors, reminding us of the beauty in unity.


D. ‘Snow Love’ Carnations

Bloom Color Snowy white blooms
Bloom Time Winter to Early Spring


Snow Love carnations brave the cold with their pristine white petals. These winter warriors offer a pure and tranquil presence to gardens and displays.


E. ‘Moonbeam’ Carnations

Bloom Color Pale yellow blooms
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer


Moonbeam carnations radiate warmth like the sun’s gentle touch. Their soft yellow blooms evoke feelings of happiness and positivity, brightening any setting.


F. ‘Butterfly’ Carnations

Bloom Color Vibrant and varied colors resembling butterfly wings
Bloom Time Spring to early summer


Butterfly carnations flutter with an array of colors, mirroring the mesmerizing patterns of butterflies. Each bloom is a testament to nature’s artistry and creativity.


3) Dwarf or Border Carnations:


Dwarf or Border Carnations is a carnation species that is compact and smaller versions of the traditional carnations.


They are characterized by their shorter stature and profusion of charming, fringed flowers. These carnations are well-suited for edging flowerbeds, borders, and containers, adding vibrant color and fragrance to smaller spaces.


Their compact nature makes them an excellent choice for gardeners with limited room.


Despite their diminutive size, dwarf or border carnations retain the captivating traits of their larger counterparts, including a diverse color palette and a pleasant, spicy fragrance.


Common dwarf carnations include:


A. ‘Little Dorrit’ Carnations

Bloom Color Blooms in shades of pink.
Bloom Time Late Spring to Early Summer


Delicate and charming, ‘Little Dorrit’ carnation varieties enchant with their elegant blooms. Their timeless appeal and grace make them a beloved addition to gardens and arrangements


B. ‘Pixie’ Carnations

Bloom Color Shades of pink, white, or a combination of both
Bloom Time Spring


With an aura of whimsy, ‘Pixie’ carnations captivate hearts. These dainty blooms bring a touch of magic to floral displays and evoke feelings of wonder.


C. ‘Tamarisk’ Carnations

Bloom Color Soft shades of pink
Bloom Time Late Spring to Early Summer


Tamarisk’s carnations embody elegance with their refined blooms. Their soft petals convey a sense of gentleness, adding a touch of sophistication to landscapes and bouquets.


D. ‘Gaiety’ Carnations

Bloom Color Bi-color patterns with white and shades of pink, red, or purple.
Bloom Time Spring


‘Gaiety’ carnations dance with joyous vitality. Their bi-color patterns and vivacious demeanor infuse arrangements and gardens with a festive and celebratory spirit.


E. ‘Tama’ Carnations

Bloom Color Range of pink hues
Bloom Time Late Spring


‘Tama’ carnations exude subtle allure, captivating with their gentle beauty. Their delicate blooms bring a sense of serenity and grace to floral compositions


F. ‘Lilliput’ Carnations

Bloom Color Various colors including pink, red, white, and sometimes other shades
Bloom Time Spring to Early Summer.


‘Lilliput’ carnations pack a punch of charm in their diminutive size. Their tightly clustered, petite blooms create an enchanting spectacle, offering a delightful burst of color and elegance.


4) Fancy or Flamed Carnations:


“Fancy” and “Flamed” are terms used to describe specific types of color patterns found in these carnation flower varieties.


Fancy carnations have unique and intricate color patterns on their petals. These patterns can include stripes, picotee edges (petal edges with a different color), and other forms of color variations that distinguish them from the typical solid-colored carnations.


‘Flamed’ carnations command attention with their captivating blooms. Their regal appearance and vibrant hues bring an air of majesty to gardens and arrangements by having flame-like or feather-like markings on their petals.


These markings often consist of contrasting colors that resemble flickering flames. The pattern can run along the edges of the petals or cover a significant portion of the petal surface.


Fancy carnations that you may commonly spot in the market are:


A. ‘Royal Flame’ Carnations

Bloom Color Deep shades of red, crimson, or a combination of warm hues
Bloom Time Spring to Early Summer.


‘Royal Flame’ carnations attract all the attention with their vibrant blooms. Their elegant appearance and vibrant color bring an air of grandeur to gardens and arrangements.


B. ‘Fancy Love’ Carnations

Bloom Color Mix of colors and patterns including shades of pink, white, and sometimes red.
Bloom Time Spring


‘Fancy Love’ carnations are an ode to elegance, boasting intricate petal designs. With a touch of sophistication, they express sentiments of admiration and charm.


C. ‘Champion Flame’ Carnations

Bloom Color Hues of red, crimson, or a fiery combination of warm colors
Bloom Time Spring to Early Summer


‘Champion Flame’ carnation varieties rise as floral victors, displaying vibrant blooms that captivate. Their tenacious beauty and striking colors make them true champions in gardens and displays.


D. ‘Fireworks’ Carnations

Bloom Color Red, orange, yellow, and sometimes even hints of white or other shades
Bloom Time Late Spring


‘Fireworks’ carnations light up the landscape with their burst of vibrant colors. Like a celebratory display, they infuse gardens and arrangements with a festive and dynamic spirit.


E. ‘Pizzazz’ Carnations

Bloom Color Shades of pink, orange, yellow, red, and sometimes even bi-color combinations.
Bloom Time Spring to Early Summer


‘Pizzazz’ carnations live up to their name, adding a dash of excitement to floral designs. Their vivacious appearance and lively energy bring a sense of fun to any setting.


F. ‘Fantasy Star’ Carnations

Bloom Color Various blues, purples, pinks, and sometimes even hints of white.
Bloom Time Late Spring


‘Fantasy Star’ carnations transport us to a dreamlike realm with their starry petals. Their enchanting appearance ignites the imagination, turning gardens and arrangements into magical landscapes.


Which Carnations Are The Most Fragrant?

Listed below are some of the most fragrant of all carnation varieties:


A. Chabaud Carnations:

Chabaud Carnations, also known as Clove Carnations, are renowned for their exquisite and intense fragrance reminiscent of cloves.


The fragrance is rich, warm, and spicy-sweet, with notes that evoke the aroma of a spice cabinet.


B. Cinnamon Red Hots:

Cinnamon Red Hots carnations, as the name suggests, emit a scent that closely resembles the spicy aroma of cinnamon candy.


The fragrance is warm, pungent, and slightly sweet, similar to the nostalgic scent of cinnamon candies or the comforting aroma of baking spices.


C. Grenadine:

Grenadine carnations are known for their captivating fragrance that combines both sweet and spicy notes. The scent is often described as a harmonious blend of clove-like spiciness and a subtle underlying sweetness.


D. Laced Romeo:

The fragrance of Laced Romeo carnations is often described as a blend of sweet florals and a hint of spiciness, creating an alluring and romantic ambiance.


E. Vienna Flame:

Vienna Flame carnations boast a captivating fragrance that is often described as both sweet and spicy. The scent is characterized by warm, inviting notes with a hint of spiciness that adds depth and complexity.


Which Are  But Aren’t?

Different Kinds Of Carnations

Some flowers often confused with different kinds of carnations are:


Sweet William: Clusters of fringed petals in vibrant colors make this a relative of carnations. It has a pleasant spicy fragrance but it isn’t a true carnation.


Dianthus barbatus: Commonly known as “Barbatus,” it boasts intricate blooms atop sturdy stems, presenting a mix of hues and a spicy clove scent.


China Pink: Delicate, ruffled petals define its charm. These charming flowers, also known as “Dianthus chinensis,” thrive in various shades, brightening up gardens.


Cottage Pink: With serrated edges and a captivating fragrance, this dianthus variety adds old-world charm to gardens with its diverse color palette.


Cheddar Pink: Characterized by unique fringed petals, this dianthus species showcases shades from pale pink to deep crimson, bringing a touch of drama.


Soapwort: Beyond its ornamental beauty, this dainty flower’s roots can produce a gentle soap, adding practical value to its allure.


Silene Armeria: Also called “None-So-Pretty,” its rounded clusters of flowers come in an array of colors, creating a cheerful display in gardens.


Alpine Catchfly: Thriving in rocky terrain, it displays star-shaped blossoms that range from pink to white, lending a touch of elegance to alpine gardens.

Did You Know The Symbolism Of Different Carnation Species?

Different Carnation Species


Different carnations hold various symbolic meanings, often based on their color:


Love and Affection: Carnations, in general, symbolize love, fascination, and affection. They can be given to express deep emotions, whether romantic or platonic.


Mother’s Love: Light red or pink carnations are commonly associated with maternal love and are often given on Mother’s Day to honor and appreciate mothers.


Admiration: Dark red carnations convey deep admiration and respect for someone. They can be given to show appreciation for someone’s accomplishments or qualities.


Purity and Good Luck: White carnations symbolize purity, innocence, and good luck. They are often used in weddings and religious ceremonies.


Loyalty: Striped or variegated carnations can represent a sense of fascination and distinction, conveying admiration or loyalty.


Regret or Remembrance: In some contexts, purple carnations are associated with regret or longing. They can also symbolize remembrance of someone who has passed away.


New Beginnings: Green carnations are sometimes linked to new beginnings and can represent a fresh start or renewal.


Symbol of Socialism: In some cultures, red carnations have been associated with socialism and workers’ rights movements.


Carnations’ meanings can vary by culture and context, so it’s essential to consider the specific symbolism that resonates with the carnation flower varieties, the recipient, and the occasion.