The complete scientific information on carnations states that they belong to the kingdom plantae, division magnoliophyta, class magnoliopsida, order caryophyllales, family caryophyllaceae and genus Dianthus.
It is believed that Theopharastus, a Greek botanist, coined the scientific term Dianthus for carnations.The common name carnation also has many stories attached to its terminology. It is said to have originated from the word ‘coronation’ or ‘corone’ that stands for ‘flower garlands’. The name may have been termed since carnations were used for enhancing the beauty of Greek ceremonial crowns. There are some other learned men who believe that the flower took its name from the Latin word ‘caro’ meaning flesh. This apparently refers to the original color of carnations or ‘incarnation’ which symbolizes that the incarnation of God made flesh. Initially, the common name ‘carnation’ was used only for the species Dianthus caryophyllus. However, today, the name is also used to indicate various other species of Dianthus, specifically the garden hybrid varieties.
In social terms, carnations are one of the most symbolic flowers. Not only does each color of the flower express a different feeling as a form of gift but it is also worn as a symbol of gratitude of certain special occasions. In Rome, the flower is called ‘Jove’s Flower’ as a mark of tribute to one of their Gods. In various parts of the world, carnations are worn on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Parent’s Day and Teacher’s Day as an unspoken expression for one’s love, appreciation and thankfulness towards the near and dear ones.
Although in general, carnation as a gift denotes love and admiration especially for a woman, each color personifies a different emotion. Dark red carnations specify intense love and desire. The light red ones reflect admiration. White flowers are a sign of pure love or can also be given as a good luck symbol. The color pink in a carnation highlights motherly love. Some colors give negative indications as well. A striped carnation denotes negation, refusal or regret; yellow shows unhappiness or disappointment and purple stands for unreliability.
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