Dianthus caryophyllus (Carnation, DIACA) | BCH-ORGA-SCBD-4954 | Organism | Biosafety Clearing-House


Organism (ORGA)

published: 19 Nov 2003 last updated: 26 Feb 2020
Organism information
Dianthus caryophyllus
Kingdom Plantae
Phylum Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Caryophyllales
Family Caryophyllaceae
Genus Dianthus
Species Dianthus caryophyllus
  • Carnation
Characteristics related to biosafety
It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years.
Many Dianthus species occur as common wildflowers. There has never been any evidence of hybridization between carnation and these species, nor after decades of cultivation have carnations been found in the wild. Carnation has no weedy characteristics and is not closely related to known weeds.
  • Ornamental
Additional Information
Dianthus caryophyllus or carnation does not display hazardous or weedy characteristics and is used in the floriculture industry for cut flowers. Modern cultivars are maintained by vegetative propagation.

The biology of carnation is such that there are no reasonable means for the genetically modified plants to escape from cultivation and become established as populations in the wild, or for gene dispersal from the genetically modified carnation to occur. The commercial standard carnation varieties are generally male sterile and rarely produce anthers; and if they do, little pollen is produced and this can only be transferred by insects. In commercial carnation production, outcrossing is unlikely as flowers are cut before opening. Should flowers open, only certain insects are easily able to access nectaries in flowers and there are very few opportunities for this to occur during transit and sale. Furthermore, carnations plants require 6 weeks for seed development and cut carnation flowers last only 3-4 weeks, which is not enough time for seed set.