|Scientific name:||Dianthus deltoides L.|
|Swedish name:||Backnejlika, ängsnejlika ängsnejlika|
|English name:||Maiden Pink|
|Plant Family:||Caryophyllaceae, Nejlikväxter, Carnation familyv|
|Life form:||Herbaceous perennial|
|Stems:||Each stem carries only one flower and are slightly taller than the foliage.|
|Leaves:||Opposite, entire, evergreen|
|Flowers:||Five pale to dark pink petals, pinked margin.|
|Habitat:||Coast, pastureland and meadows|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Dianthus, dios,"god" and anthos,"flower",
deltoides, like the Greek letter ‹, δελτα delta, -οειδεϛ, oides, adjective suffix for nouns: like, resemble.
The verb "pink" dates from the 14th century and means "to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern". The colour pink may be named after the flower.
The word 'carnation' appears to have entered the English language in 1538 and may be a corruption of 'coronation' based on their use in ceremonial crowns in ancient Greece.
Carnation, a symbol of betrothal, probably originated in a Flemish wedding custom. In portrait painting, especially of the 15th and 16th centuries, when held in the sitter's hand it signifies that the picture commemorates his betrothal.
In his painting "un giardino di fiori", Realm of Flora, Dresden, Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) represented the mortals from the Roman poet Ovid's "Metamorphosis" who became flowers. Arranged in a circle around Flora are: Clytia, Narcissus, Smilax, Crocus, Adonis and Hyacinth. Outside the circle is Ajax, who is falling on his sword and turned into larkspur- a carnation in Poussin's "Garden of Flora". Behind Ajax is a herm of the fertility God Priapus-a symbol of the renewal of life through reproduction.