Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Common Pink, also known as the Dianthus, Dianthus plumarius.

Photographed on Manhattan’s Upper West Side
near the corner of West 81st street and Central Park West.

Image: GrrlScientist, 11 June 2009 [larger view].

Can anyone identify this cultivated flower?

Dianthus is a genus of flowering plants with roughly 300 species in the family Caryophyllaceae. These plants are endemic to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south into northern Africa. One adventuresome species, D. repens, has even managed to establish itself in arctic regions of North America. Some familiar Dianthus include the carnation, D. caryophyllus, pink, D. plumarius and Sweet William, D. barbatus. The color pink may be named for the flower. The origin of the flower name “pink” may come from the frilled edge of the flowers: the verb “pink” dates from the 14th century and means “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern” (maybe from German “pinken” = to peck?). I remember it from pinking shears, those big, heavy scissors that leave behind a zigzag cut in fabric.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    June 14, 2009

    I thought the title might be what the ant’s saying.

  2. #2 jenjen1352
    June 14, 2009

    It’s a Dianthus (Pink).

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    June 14, 2009

    thanks jen! you have spared me much mental angst.

  4. #4 ACW
    June 16, 2009

    The containing order, the Caryophyllales, is one of four orders of core eudicots that have not been assigned to either the rosids or the asterids. (They look asteridish to me, but I suppose the sequence data doesn’t support that hypothesis strongly.)

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