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14 Flowers That Look Like Carnations (Dianthus Caryophyllus)

14 Flowers That Look Like Carnations (Dianthus Caryophyllus)


In the world of flowers, carnations, known scientifically as Dianthus Caryophyllus, hold a special place due to their unique characteristics. Today, we’ll explore some flowers that look like carnations and bear a resemblance to these popular blooms.

Dianthus Caryophyllus are perennial plants. They are known for their ruffled petals, available in various colors. These plants are easy to cultivate, favoring full sun and  soil that drains well. The distinctive feature of these flowers is their fringed petals, which contribute significantly to their aesthetic appeal.

Dianthus Barbatus (Sweet Williams)

Dianthus Barbatus

Dianthus Barbatus, often known as Sweet Williams, has fragrant, fringed flowers that mimic carnations. Cottage gardens usually contain these perennial plants. Sweet Williams prefer full sun and good drainage. They produce colorful blooms that range from dark pink to white, and because of their durability, they are well-liked as cut flowers. Both male and female flowers are present on Sweet Williams plants.

Dianthus Gratianopolitanus (Cheddar Pink)

Dianthus Gratianopolitanus

Dianthus Gratianopolitanus, or Cheddar Pink, is a perennial plant that resembles carnations. These flowers prefer full sun and well-drained, alkaline soil. Cheddar Pinks are recognized for their hot pink flowers that serve as an excellent ground cover. Their fragrance is unique and spicy, distinct from the sweet scent of their counterparts. Despite their smaller size, Cheddar Pinks are distinguished by their silver-green foliage and fringed petals.

Dianthus Chinensis (China Pink)

Dianthus Chinensis

An annual plant that mimics carnations is called China Pink, Dianthus Chinensis. These easy to grow flowers bloom from late spring to early summer and thrive in full light and soil that drains well. Shades of pink, white, and red are among the many colors that China Pinks have to offer. They appear more fragile since their petals are thinner than those of carnations. In comparison to their counterparts, their aroma is also sweeter and less clove-like.

Dianthus Deltoides (Maiden Pink)

Dianthus Deltoides

A perennial flower resembling carnations is called Dianthus Deltoides, sometimes known as Maiden Pink. These plants need well-drained soil and full sun. They are a good ground cover since they grow slowly and spread swiftly. Small, deep pink flowers on Maiden Pinks bloom from late spring to early summer. They have a somewhat distinct appearance since their petals have less fringe than the flowers they mimic.

Garden Pinks

Garden Pinks

Garden Pinks are members of the Dianthus genus that thrive in zones 5 and above. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Known for their fragrant, double flowers, Garden Pinks offer a variety of colors. They are often recognized by their fringed petals, which resemble those of carnations.

Deptford Pink

Deptford Pink

Deptford Pink is a species of Dianthus known for its bright pink flowers. This plant prefers full sun and well-drained soil. The flowers are smaller than those of the carnation, but their deep pink color and fringed petals bear a resemblance to the popular bloom.

Fringed Pink

Fringed Pink

Fringed Pink is a perennial flower known for its delicate, fringed flowers. It prefers full sun and soil with good draining qualities. The flowers are smaller and more delicate, but their fringed petals and the range of pink shades they come in make them look similar to carnations.

Seguier’s Pink

Dianthus seguieri

Dianthus species known as Seguier’s Pink are distinguished by their clusters of pink blooms. Both full-light and well-drained soil are ideal for this plant. Although the flowers are smaller than those of the titular flower, they are a decent replacement due to their clustered appearance and pink color.

Carthusian Pink

Carthusian Pink

Carthusian Pink is a tall, slender perennial with small, vibrant pink flowers. This Dianthus species is a sun-lover and thrives in soil with good drainage. Its striking color and the grouping of the flowers on long stems give it a resemblance to carnations.

Silene (Catchfly)


Silene, commonly known as Catchfly, is a perennial plant that favors full sun and soil that drains well. Its flowers are not as ruffled as those of its cousins but bear some resemblance due to their pink color and long, slender stems.

Lychnis Coronaria (Rose Campion)

Lychnis Coronaria

Lychnis Coronaria, known as Rose Campion, is a perennial plant with bright pink flowers. It prefers full sun and well-draining soil. Rose Campion’s flowers are less fringed than carnations, but their vibrant color and general flower shape bear a resemblance to the popular bloom.

Arenaria Montana (Sandwort)

Arenaria Montana

Arenaria Montana, or Sandwort, is a low-growing perennial that enjoys full sun and well-draining soil. Its small, white flowers are not quite as ruffled as those of the carnation, but its growth habit as a ground cover is reminiscent of some Dianthus species.

American Pie Flower

Georgia Peach Dianthus

The American Pie Dianthus, a hybrid variety, produces large, fragrant flowers that are often bicolor, typically in shades of pink and white. This hardy perennial enjoys full sun and well-drained soil. Its size and form bear a striking similarity to the flowers it mimics.

Agrostemma Githago (Corncockle)

Agrostemma Githago

Agrostemma Githago, also known as Corncockle, is an annual plant with tall stems and pink to purple flowers. Preferring full sun and well-drained soil, Corncockle’s flowers are less fringed, but their color and form make them a potential carnation alternative.

Flowers That Look Like Carnations (Dianthus Caryophyllus) FAQs

What are the Key Differences Between Daisies and Carnations?

While both daisies and carnations are popular garden flowers, they have key differences. These plants are characterized by their fringed petals and spicy fragrance. Daisies, on the other hand, are known for their classic “eye” at the center of the flower surrounded by smooth petals.

How Can I Tell if a Flower is Similar to a Carnation?

Flowers similar to carnations often have a similar growth habit and prefer similar conditions, such as full sun and well-drained soil. They may also have fringed petals and a similar shape to the flowers. However, the exact characteristics can vary widely between species.

Are There Any Significant Care Differences Between Carnations and Their Lookalikes?

While many lookalikes prefer similar conditions to carnations, such as full sun and well-drained soil, their specific care requirements can vary. Some may require more or less water, different soil pH levels, or different pruning practices.

Can Carnation Lookalikes be Used in the Same Way as Carnations in Floral Arrangements?

Yes, many lookalikes can be used in the same way as carnations in floral arrangements. They can provide similar shapes, colors, and even fragrances to the arrangements.

Dianthus Caryophyllus


Understanding flowers that look like carnations can broaden your gardening horizons and offer more options for your garden design or floral arrangements. Whether it’s the similar fringed petals or the comparable growing conditions, these flowers offer their unique charm while reminding us of the beloved carnation.

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