National Flower Series–Southern Europe 1– Kingdom of Spain – Dianthus Caryophyllus (Carnation)


Carnation is Spain’s national flower (or clavel in Spanish or 康乃馨 in Chinese) and widely grown in the Aragon region of Spain. Also called Dianthus Caryophyllus , carnation is a favorite flower of choice and revered for centuries. It’s Latin Name basically translated into flower of god or love. Carnation in Spain is very much influenced by South Spain or Andalusia’s Spanish folklore and commonly associated to distinction, love and fascination.

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                              Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:          Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

In Spain, carnation is associated with a symbol of affection between lovers and  a religious symbol related to Jesus’s passion representing Crown of Thorns. It is also  related to the seedy side of Spain like gipsy’s lapels  thrown into the bullring ruedos.        

Clavel Sevillano

Spieces information

  • Scientific name:         Dianthus Caryophyllus 
  • Family:                           Caryophyllaceae
  • Common name:         Carnation, clavel (in Spanish), 康乃馨(in Chinese)

Carnation is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme; they are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented; the original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colors, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. (Source:



Additional notes:

Carnations are traditionally flowers used to express feelings since olden days. Like roses, colors of carnations carry different meanings and it is wise to find out the meanings for each color before you present the flower to them. In addition, different colors  are used for different occasion. The following table summarizes the common colors, its meanings and occasions to wear them.



Occasions to wear

Light red Admiration  
Red Symbol of love; symbol of Portuguese Carnation Revolution; symbol of socialism and labor movements Wear on Mother’s day if mother is alive, Parents day for Korea; May day as a symbol of socialism and labor movement for Austria, Italy and former Yugoslavia ; Final examination of University of Oxford
Dark red Symbolic of deep love or admiration, depending on the depth of the red  
White Purity and luck Wear on Mother’s day is mother is dead; 1st examination of University of Oxford;
Pink Sign of gratitude, symbolizes mother’s love MOTHERS DAY, weddings, Parent’s day for Korea;
Examinations between first and final examination of University of Oxford
Purple Indicates capriciousness, In France, a traditional funeral flower, given in condolence for the death of a loved one.  
Striped Regret or refusal  
Yellow Dejection  
Green Symbol of homosexuality in the early 20th century St Patrick’s day;

Happy Mother’s Day and enjoy reading.


I have yet to complete my National Flower Series – East Asia. As tomorrow is Mother’s day, I thought it would be nice to put up something on carnation and therefore, I have written this post about the national flower of Spain.   The series on East Asia will resume in my next post on National Flower Series.

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