The red light carnation - everything you need to know in a profile

The red light carnation - everything you need to know in a profile

Overview of data and facts about the red light carnation

  • Botanical name: Silene dioica
  • Family: Carnation family
  • Genus: Glutinous herbs (Silene)
  • Popular names: Red clove, daylight carnation, red night carnation, Lord God’s blood, red forest carnation
  • Origin: Eurasia
  • Distribution: mainly Central and Northern Europe
  • Location: moist meadows and forests, deciduous forests, floodplain forests, forest edges, in the Alps up to 2,400 meters above sea level
  • Growth habit: herbaceous plant
  • Perennial: biennial, deciduous
  • Height: between 30 and 90 centimeters
  • Flowers: radial symmetry, five split petals
  • Colors: pink, red
  • Flowering period: April to October
  • Fruits: capsule fruit with poppy-like seeds
  • Leaves: lanceolate, dark green
  • Propagation: seeds, division
  • Winter hardiness: yes
  • Toxicity: no, but contains very irritating saponins
  • Use: Ornamental plant, formerly also used as a detergent

Preferred partially shaded location

As in its natural location, the red carnation also prefers a partially shaded location in the garden. The perennial also likes a lot of warmth, but it must not dry out - it is not for nothing that the plant is often found in damp meadows. Basically, the more humid the location, the brighter the red carnation can be. For this reason, locations on the banks of a pond are u. Ä. ideal. In addition, the light carnations should always be planted in groups, as this is the only way for them to develop their full potential.

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Cultivate red carnation in the garden

The red carnation is a very floriferous perennial, provided the site conditions are right. Otherwise, the plant doesn't need a lot of care: it doesn't have to be fertilized or cut regularly. The plant does not need any help with propagation either, as it reproduces itself very reliably. Light carnations are extremely hardy and do not need additional winter protection.


Plant as many different species and varieties of light carnations as possible in groups. These will cross with each other over time and produce the most interesting crossbreeding products. In addition to the red light carnation, other Silene species are also suitable for this purpose, such as the cone carnation (Silene coronaria), the common pitchnock (Silene viscaria) or the cuckoo light carnation (Silene flos-cuculi).