Dianthus armeria (Deptford Pink)
|Also known as:|
|Life cycle:||annual, biennial|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; roadsides, fields, open woods, waste areas|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||8 to 24 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: UPL MW: UPL NCNE: UPL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are solitary or in clusters of 3 to 6 at the top of the stem and the occasional branching stem in the upper plant. Flowers are 1/3 to ½ inch across, with 5 light to shocking pink petals, dotted white, hairy, and toothed on the tip half. In the center are 10 stamens with purplish tips.
The calyx surrounding flower forms a slender, green tube 3/8 to ¾ inch long with 5 thread-like lobes. Around the base are several linear bracts that often extend beyond the flower. The calyx and bracts are covered in short hairs.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are up to 3 inches long and 1/8 inch wide, toothless, finely hairy around the edges especially near the base, tapering to a blunt or pointed tip, bulging at the leaf node where a pair of opposite leaves join the stem, often with fine white hairs covering the node. Stems are green, slender and stiff, often branched in the upper stem, mostly hairless except at the leaf nodes and near the flowers.
Fruit is an oval to cylindric capsule about as long as the calyx, open at the top with 4 teeth around the mouth. Inside are numerous tiny, blackish-brown seeds.
Deptford Pink is a pretty one, indeed. Brought in through the gardening trade, it has escaped cultivation and is making its way across Minnesota, usually in disturbed areas such as roadsides, fields, ditches and trail edges. My first encounter with it was in a restored prairie, where it was scattered and not particularly abundant, likely a contaminant in the seed mix. It is fairly distinctive, but somewhat similar to the related Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoides), which tends to be a shorter plant and has a hairless calyx, floral bracts that are much shorter and broader, and usually broader flower petals.
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- Deptford Pink with Bird's-foot Trefoil
- Deptford Pink with Common St. Johns-wort and Grecian Foxglove
- more flowers
Photos by K. Chayka taken near Stillwater in Washington County. Photos by Peter M. Dziuk taken in Washington and Anoka counties.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?