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Common Name: Chinese Pink
Dianthus chinensis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.70 metres tall.
It has medicinal uses.
E. Asia - China.
A wide variety of habitats including sandy forest margins, dry hillsides and summits, forest and hillside grasslands, scrub on mountain slopes, rocky ravines, meadows and streamsides[
Prefers a rich well-drained loamy neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny position[
], but succeeds in most soils including dry ones[
A very ornamental plant[
], it is usually biennial in habit, but can be a short-lived perennial. There are many cultivars that are widely grown in gardens. Since these flower freely in their first year and then degenerate, they are usually treated as annuals[
A very variable species in the wild, it has often been subdivided into up to eight different varieties[
The Chinese pink has been used for over 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine[
]. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary systems and also the bowels[
]. It is also anthelmintic, antibacterial, antiphlogistic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge and haemostatic[
]. It is used internally in the treatment of acute urinary tract infections (especially cystitis), urinary stones, constipation and failure to menstruate[
]. It is used externally to treat skin inflammations and swellings[
]. The old leaves are crushed and used for clearing the eyesight[
The plants are harvested just before the flowers open and are dried for later use[
Seed - sow May/early summer in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer or autumn[
The seed can also be sown thinly in an outdoor seedbed in late spring, the young plants being planted out in late spring or the autumn1].
Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame[
Division in September[
]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.