Carnation Flower meaning: Discover everything about this flower

Home » Flower Meaning » Carnation Flower meaning: Discover everything about this flower

In this blog we will look into the carnation flower meaning. More specifically, we will explore how this flower relates to Jupiter and why it is one of the Sagittarius flower.

We will briefly explore the meaning of the Sagittarius zodiac and also understand what is its link to the planet Jupiter.

Then, we will dive into different cultural meaning and what the different colours of the carnation symbolises.

Finally, we will get into the various uses of the carnation flower and the different types that exists.

What is the meaning of Carnation flower?

The Carnation flower symbolises admiration, dignity, disdain, healthy and energy and pure love. They are also a symbol of spring and summer. The carnation flower also reflects the qualities of the planet Jupiter as alchemists place this flower under its dominion.

Wondering why the carnation flower is a Sagittarius birth flower? Then keep on reading as we go in depth with zodiacs and how the carnation flower links to that particular zodiac.

Sagittarius Traits

First let’s have a look at some Sagittarius traits.

Sagittarians are those born between November 23rd to December 21st. They are reputed for their loyalty, assertiveness and compassionate nature.

Furthermore, Jupiter as their sign ruler provides them with a philosophical and intellectual outlook on life. They are the zodiacs forever optimists and independents.

Carnations complement those natives well due to their multiple personalities. The carnation flower meaning in relation to Sagittarius involves love, intellect, fascination and luck.

The Flower of Zeus

Dianthus Caryophyllus is the Greek name for the carnation flower.

The name Dianthus derives from Greek word Dios which translates to “of Zeus.” While anthos means “flower.” Hence, the carnation was the flower of Zeus.

Caryophyllus relates to the clove tree because of the carnation’s clove like fragrance.

Jupiter is the ruler of the Sagittarius zodiac. Zeus was the Greek equivalent of Jupiter. He was also the father of the Olympians.

The common name Carnation derives from Latin corone (flower garlands.) In ancient times, victorious Greek athletes were crowned with carnations.

Carnation flower meaning and uses in different cultures

For a very long time carnations symbolise love and marriage.

Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael portray carnations in some paintings. Those painting depict couples holding carnations to symbolise their formal engagement.

Catholics chose dianthus as one of the flowers to represent the Virgin Mary. A lot of paintings from the thirteenth century onwards depict the Virgin Mary with carnation flowers.

The Carnation flower meaning in relation to the Virgin Mary was love and fertility.

From the poet Chaucer, we learn that Carnation was formerly called the Clove Gilliflower or Gillyflower. It was cultivated in English Gardens in the reign of Edward the 3rd.

In those days, it was used to give a spicy flavour to wine and ale, and from this it also obtained its name of Sop-in-wine.

The name Gilliflower is a corruption of the Latin word Caryophyllum, a clove. This is a reference to the spicy odour of the flower. It was used as a substitute for Indian Cloves in flavouring delicacies including liquors.

During Elizabethan times it was popular to wear a carnation flower because of the belief that the flower helped to prevent death on the scaffold.

carnation flower

The different Carnation flower colour meaning

The carnation meaning varies depending on the different colours. Here is a list of what the various colours signify.

Pink Carnation Flower Meaning

  • The flower is the Emblem of Mother’s Day.
  • Symbolises the undying love of a mother.
  • It has connection to the bible more specifically to the Virgin Mary.

Purple Carnation Flower Meaning

  • Evokes feelings of antipathy and capriciousness.
  • Suggests unreliability.
  • Used in funeral ceremonies in France

Red Carnation Flower Meaning

  • Feeling of admiration and worldly sentiments.
  • The light red flowers represent friendship.
  • The darker red flowers symbolise love.
  • It is a symbol of purity.

White Carnation Flower Meaning

  • Represent pure and ardent Love.
  • A good luck gift to a woman.
  • Signifies faithfulness.
  • Elicits a feeling of innocence.

Yellow Carnation Flower Meaning

  • Brings forth a feeling of disdain and rejection
  • It represents a hopeless state of mind.
  • It is a symbol of depression.
Carnation flower color meaning chart

The Uses of the Carnation Flower

This flower is the symbol for first anniversaries. Aside from this they also have medicinal, culinary and spiritual usage.


In the past, the carnation flower aided to treat various ailments, here is a list of some medicinal uses of the carnation.

  1. Soothe, calm also quieten both nervousness and anxiety.

  2. Aids in the treatment of kidney and bladder ailments.

  3. Alleviates skin ailments such as eczema.

  4. Helps to deal with constipation.

  5. Used as cream to cleanse off grime as well as moisture dry skin areas.


Do not use Carnations from the florist for consumption because they contain pesticides or herbicides. Always purchase edible carnations from a specialty store.

  1. The flower petals are candied for garnishing and flavouring in salads.

  2. Toss carnation petals with lettuce in salads. It brings a vibrant colour to the salad.

  3. Chop and mix carnation petals with other herbs into soft butter. Serve with meat or vegetables.

  4. It adds flavour in sugar syrup for any glazing or desserts.

Spiritual beliefs

The Carnation flower also had spiritual meaning in ancient times but also modern. This is a list of beliefs both ancient and modern.

  1. Placing a bouquet next to the door helps with protection.

  2. To attract abundance place a bouquet on the dining table.

  3. In ancient times, placing some of the flowers in an amulet helped with protection, healing or to attract love.

  4. When conducting various healing rituals it can help to place carnations on your altar. The different colours would determine what kind of healing need to be done:
    • White: new beginnings

    • Light Red: heart healing, compassion and self love

    • Dark Red: passion, love and protection

    • Purple: banishing and intuition

    • Pink: purification and cleansing

Different types of Carnation Flower

There are more than 300 known species of the carnation flower. It would impossible to list all of the varieties here. However, those are three most well-known types of the Carnation Flower.

Dianthus Caryophyllus

Dianthus Caryophyllus or Clove Pink or Gillyflower is native to the Mediterranean area.

They grow up to 3 and 1/2 inch or 80 cm tall with slender leaves. The leaves range from greyish green to blue-green in colour and measure around 6 inch or 15 cm long.

Dianthus Caryophyllus species produce flowers that either come in singles or up to five as a cluster. The flowers are around 1 and 1/4 to 2 inch or 3 to 5 cm in diameter and produce a scent that is sweet.

Originally those flowers were in pinkish-purple in colour however, after long years of cultivation they are now available in red, white, yellow, blue and green.

Dianthus Barbatus

Dianthus Barbatus or Sweet William is native to the southern parts of Europe and some parts of Asia.

This variety grows 5.1 to 36.2 inch or 13 to 92 cm tall and the leaves are tapered. Furthermore, they are green to blue-green in colour and measure around 1.6 to 4 inch or 4 to 10 cm long.

The flowers come in a dense cluster of around 30 flowers at the top. They range around 0.8 to 1.2 inch or 2 to 3 cm in diameter with five petals and produce a scent that is spicy(clove-like.)

carnation flower 2

Dianthus Plumarius

Dianthus Plumarius or common pink or pink is native to Central Europe namely, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia.

This type of carnation can grow 12 to 24 inch or 30 to 60 cm tall. The leaves are linear, sessile and arranged in opposites. They are about 3.9 inch or 10 cm long.

The flowers are radially symmetrical additionally each flower produce five pink petals which are 0.39 to 0.59 inch

or 10 to 15 cm long.

If you liked our carnation flower meaning blog then make sure you check our other blogs about Sagittarius flowers.

Carnation flower FAQs


Dietz, S. T. (2022) The complete language of flowers the complete language of flowers: A definitive and illustrated history – pocket edition. Wellfleet Press.

Folkard, R. (1884) Plant lore, legends, and lyrics. Embracing the myths, traditions, superstitions, and folk-lore of the plant kingdom. London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington.

Junius, M. M. (1993) The practical handbook of plant alchemy: Herbalist’S guide to preparing medicinal essences, tinctures and elixirs. Rochester, NY: Inner Traditions Bear and Company.

Kirkby, M. (2011) A Victorian flower dictionary: The language of flowers companion. New York, NY: Random House.

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Comment