Dianthus armeria (Deptford Pink)

Plant Info
Also known as:
Family:Caryophyllaceae (Pink)
Life cycle:annual, biennial
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, sun; roadsides, fields, open woods, waste areas
Bloom season:June - September
Plant height:8 to 24 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: UPL MW: UPL NCNE: UPL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals Cluster type: flat

[photo of flower] Flowers are solitary or in clusters of 3 to 6 at the top of the stem and the occasional branching stem in the upper plant. Flowers are 1/3 to ½ inch across, with 5 light to shocking pink petals, dotted white, hairy, and toothed on the tip half. In the center are 10 stamens with purplish tips. The bracts are long and narrow, often extending beyond the flowers.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are up to 3 inches long and 1/8 inch wide, toothless, finely hairy around the edges especially near the base, tapering to a blunt or pointed tip, bulging at the leaf node where a pair of opposite leaves join the stem, often with fine white hairs covering the node. Stems are green, slender and stiff, mostly hairless except at the leaf nodes and near the flowers.


Deptford Pink is a pretty one, indeed. Brought in through the gardening trade, it has escaped cultivation and is making its way across Minnesota. Similar is another less common garden escapee, Maiden Pink (Dianthus deltoides), which has broader petals and a distinct dark ring around the center of the flower.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken near Stillwater in Washington County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Washington and Anoka counties.


Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Mark - Oakdale Nature Preserve
on: 2012-03-03 18:27:26

In the field just west of the Oakdale Discovery Center

Posted by: Carole - Applewood Preserve, Maplewood MN 55119; Ramsey County
on: 2013-07-02 21:05:50

This is just south of the Applewood Park entrance off Sterling St., between the tar path and play area. There are 3 plants. They have been mowed around and haven't spread for three years.

Posted by: Jodi - Center city, Chisago co.
on: 2013-07-07 16:03:41

I have this growing in my yard. It is only about 4" tall because my husband keeps mowing it over. Very pretty and in bloom now.

Posted by: Dianne - Blaine
on: 2013-07-10 16:20:12

I saw a couple of plants today in Lochness Park in Blaine.

Posted by: Bonita - on sand just east of Lanesboro, Fillmore Co.
on: 2014-06-30 13:12:33

Should I pull these tiny beauties?

Posted by: Sarah - Princeton
on: 2014-07-08 15:13:59

This was blooming at Springvale County Park (Isanti County) 7/8/2014. Hadn't seen it in this area yet before.

Posted by: mary - Duluth
on: 2014-08-06 12:03:25

I found this plant growing in the Lester River area of eastern Duluth. It was on top of a rocky outcrop with a thin amount of soil, dry, and in sun.

Posted by: Christian - Aitkin
on: 2016-06-11 20:45:30

Found in our grazing field. Very pretty little flower. Shame it's invasive.

Posted by: Roberta K O - Carlton County
on: 2017-07-23 19:27:33

Last year we saw only a couple. There are many more this year. Very pretty pink.

Posted by: Joe L - Isabella Lake, Pow Wow Trail, BWCA
on: 2017-08-28 03:08:47

I saw several plants like this, August 26, 2017, maybe 6 or 8 all together, not clustered but far apart on the trail, but they did not have the white spotting on the petals, just that shocking pink. Could this still be Dianthis armeria, or some other species entirely?

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