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Herbaceous plant (Dianthus caryophyllus) of the pink family, native to the Mediterranean, widely cultivated for its fringe-petaled, often spicy-smelling flowers. Border, or garden, carnations include a range of varieties and hybrids. The perpetual flowering carnation, taller and stouter, produces larger flowers and blooms almost continuously in the greenhouse; miniature (baby) and spray varieties are also grown for the florist trade. Carnations are among the most popular cut flowers, used in floral arrangements, corsages, and boutonnieres.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on carnation, visit Britannica.com.