Description: Annual to perennial herbs, often containing saponins.
Leaves narrow, grass-like, often glaucous, sheathing at base; stipules absent.
Inflorescence terminal, loose or compact. Calyx tubular, green, with 5 teeth and 2–6 enclosing bracts. Petals with a long narrow claw and an entire or toothed lamina. Stamens 10. Styles 2.
Capsule borne on a gynophore, opening by 4 short teeth; seeds reddish brown.
Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, primarily Mediterranean, but extending to southern Africa & Japan. Australia: 2 species (naturalized), N.S.W., Vic., Tas.
Text by A. Doust
| ||Key to the species|| |
|1||Erect, shortly hairy annual; leaves linear-acuminate, margins smooth||Dianthus armeria|
|Erect glabrous perennial; leaves narrow-ovate to lanceolate, margins scabrous||Dianthus barbatus|