Late-spring flowering biennial or short-lived perennial
Description: Showy flowers are in a broad range of colors from reds and pinks to pure white; evergreen foliage
Habit: Grows to 2 feet high and 2 feet wide
Culture: Prefers full sun to light shade and rich garden loam
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 4
Origin: Southern Europe
Attributes: Evergreen, Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
Thomas Jefferson first noted the flowering of Sweet William in his Garden Book on April 16, 1767, when he still lived at Shadwell. Sweet William is one of the oldest of garden flowers and is illustrated in the English herbals of Gerard and Parkinson. An entire oval flower bed of Sweet William was featured in Jefferson's 1807 plan for the gardens around Monticello, which he drew while still living in Washington, D.C. during his second term as president. He had ordered seed from Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon. Numerous forms of Sweet William were available in Jefferson's time, including 'Painted Lady' types with a solid band of color on the petals, and double flowered forms.
Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) arrives in a 4" pot.