Garden plant (Dianthus barbatus) in the pink family, grown for its clusters of small, brightly coloured flowers. It usually grows as a biennial, with seed sown the first year producing spring-flowering plants the second year. The plants grow about 2 ft (60 cm) high and produce numerous flowers with fringed petals in white, pink, or rose to violet, sometimes also bicoloured.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)—Grant Heilman Photography
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on sweet William, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up sweet William? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.