The species Dianthus were introduced to England from their native European or Asian habitats. Later, they traveled from there to North America and other countries of the New World with the early colonists, but because many species are closely related and identification therefore problematical, they are difficult to find. Catalogs from time to time describe selected species, available either as seeds or plants, but there is no guarantee that the naming of these is totally reliable. Unlike heritage rose enthusiasts or specialist iris growers, few gardeners seek Dianthus species for their collections. Their importance lies rather in the genes they have bequeathed to today's plants. Most of dianthus are hardy perennials and some will produce flowers for a long season. As with many species, the flowers tend to be less complex than those of hybrids that breeders have created. They possess a simple beauty, timeless in its appeal. The flowers have usually only five petals, often with serrated edges; the color patterns are uncomplicated, either one clear color or showing a central eye or zone of a contrasting color.
In general, Dianthus enjoy warm summers and dislike humidity. They also prefer a site with full sun and a well-drained soil.