National Flower of Spain – Guide

The carnation is an authentic icon within Spanish culture. The Dianthus caryophyllus, which means the flower of the gods, is one of the flowers most closely linked to Spanish folklore, especially in the south of Spain due to its use in festivals such as the famous April Fair in Seville. In addition, the language of flowers represents feelings such as love and joy, closely linked to the spirit that Spain tries to transmit to the rest of the world. If you were wondering what is the national flower of Spain, we invite you to learn, here in TheGardenStyle, everything you need to know about the carnation, the national flower of Spain.

The National Flower of Spain

You have probably wondered why the carnation is the national flower of Spain. So, to understand its close relationship with Spain, let’s talk a little more about its origin and use.

Carnations, as their name indicates, are flowers linked to religion, and Spain is a country closely linked to Christianity. For this reason, it is one of the most cultivated flowers both in Andalusia and in Aragon, since, besides blooming all year round, they are used in different festivities of the Spanish tradition. From as a flower linked to Easter, by the biblical reference where the tears of the Virgin Mary when she lost her son became carnation petals, to the joy and devotion of the pilgrimage of El Rocio.

In addition, the carnation is the flower most associated with flamenco, a World Heritage Site, used by singers, composers, and dancers in their shows. It is also linked to the bullfighting culture and other national festivals and celebrations, such as the Day of the Pilar, and as the starflower of the famous patios of Cordoba.

The carnation is so important for Spain that there are more than 25 species of carnation. Thus, this is one of the most given and cultivated flowers not only in Spain but also in the rest of the world. (Order seeds here).

MySeeds.Co Big Pack - Clove Carnation Seed (5,000 Seeds) - Dianthus caryophyllus Chabaud Mix - Edible Flower Seeds (Big Pack - Clove Carnation)
  • ✔ Quality seeds packaged by MySeeds.Co All seeds sold by MySeeds.Co are Non-GMO based seed products and are intended for the current & the following growing season. "All seeds are produced from open pollinated plants, stored in a temperature controlled facility and constantly moved out due to popularity.
  • ✔ Dianthus caryophyllus, the carnation or clove carnation, is a species of Dianthus
  • ✔ It is native to the Mediterranean region

Characteristics Of the National Flower of Spain

The carnation is scientifically called Dianthus caryophyllus and these are its characteristics:

  • The Spanish national flower is a herbaceous perennial capable of reaching 20″ (50 cm) in height.
  • Its dark green stems and leaves stand out, with narrow, lanceolate, and opposite leaves.
  • Regarding the flower, undoubtedly the most representative of this plant, the carnation has a flower with an average of 1.6″ (4 cm) wide with toothed petals and fragrant reminiscent of the rose.
  • Its coloration is quite wide, ranging from white and yellow to pink and red; the latter is the color most used as a representative flower of Spain. In addition, it is possible to find variegated petals with different colors and patterns.
  • Naturally, the key grows in the Mediterranean basin, but it is also possible to grow it at home even though it is an outdoor plant. Having a large pot to prevent the flowers from competing for light and making sure that it does not suffer from frost, will be the basis to enjoy its flowering throughout the year.

Learn more about How to Grow Carnations.

characteristics national flower of spain
National Flower of Spain.

Carnation Care

Below, we would like to offer you the basic care that carnation needs to be grown in pots or your home garden. Follow these simple tips to decorate your home naturally.

  • Location: be sure to place it where it can receive direct sunlight. This is vital if we want to achieve optimal flowering. In shady or poorly lit areas, likely, it will not flower at all.
  • Soil and substrate: the carnation only needs to be planted in well-drained soil, otherwise, it is a very undemanding plant, although it prefers fertile and light soils.
  • Watering: We recommend watering your carnations at least three times a week during the hot months and twice a week the rest of the year. Control the watering doses to keep the substrate moist, avoiding waterlogging that can damage the plant. We recommend reading about Best Time to Water Plants.
  • Fertilizer: to fertilize it always opt for natural fertilizer such as mulch, compost, and add eggshells or banana peels to the soil to enrich it in a completely natural way.
  • Pruning: to promote its growth it is important to remove wilted flowers and prune dry leaves and leaves in poor condition. Always use disinfected tools to avoid diseases.
  • Cultivation: claves can be grown both by seeds and cuttings.
  • Pests: to avoid the appearance of pests such as aphids, mites, and thrips, we recommend treating the plant with diatomaceous earth if you do not want to be aware of eliminating pests by hand.
  • Diseases: as we have already mentioned, carnations do not tolerate excess humidity. Hence it is a plant susceptible to diseases such as botrytis or rust. To treat it, we recommend the use of copper-based fungicides as soon as dark spots appear on the leaves or stem.

Now that you are more familiar with Spain’s national flower, you may remember that you have heard of air carnations or tillandsias. We want to clarify that they are not the same as carnations, which are the Spanish national flower, but other plants, although equally beautiful and curious. Learn more about How to Care Air Plants.

dianthus caryophyllus carnation
About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Morgan, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.