Dianthus superbus - L.
Common Name Fringed Pink
Family Caryophyllaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards The plant contains saponins but apparently in quantities too low to cause harm[179]. Although fairly toxic, saponins are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without harm. Saponins are found in many foods, such as beans. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Woody hills and dry meadows[100].
Range Europe to N. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Dianthus superbus Fringed Pink

Dianthus superbus Fringed Pink
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Dianthus superbus is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

D. wimmeri.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Nectar.
Edible Uses:

The leaves, stems and tops are boiled, steeped in water and eaten as a potherb[105, 177, 179, 183]. Young plants are also eaten[183]. One report says that they contain saponins but that the leaves are apparently not toxic[179]. Probably this is because the content of saponins is too low to be harmful[K]. Children suck the flowers for their sweet edible nectar[105, 177, 183].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Abortifacient;  Antibacterial;  Astringent;  Contraceptive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Febrifuge;  Haemostatic;  
Ophthalmic;  Resolvent;  Tonic;  Vulnerary.

The fringed pink, called Qu Mai in Chinese herbalism, has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for over 2,000 years. The whole plant is a bitter tonic herb that stimulates the digestive and urinary system, and also the bowels[238]. It also lowers blood pressure, reduces fevers and controls bacterial infections[218, 238]. Little used on its own, it is often taken with Dan Shen (Salvia multiorrhiza) to induce menstruation[254]. The closely related D. chinensis has the same uses as Qu Mai and is more commonly used[238]. The plant is abortifacient, contraceptive, diuretic, emmenagogue, ophthalmic, tonic and vulnerary[147, 176, 178, 218]. It is said to promote hair growth[147, 176, 178]. It is ranked 9th in a list of 250 potential antifertility Chinese plants[218]. The plant is taken internally in the treatment of acute urinary tract infections (especially cystitis), urinary stones, constipation and failure to menstruate[238]. Externally, it is applied to skin inflammations and swellings[238]. The leaves are used in the treatment of haemorrhoids, lumbricoid worms, venereal sores etc[218]. The flowers are astringent, diuretic, haemostatic, resolvent and vulnerary[218]. Research has shown that the flowers are the most markedly diuretic part of the plant[254].


Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details
Prefers an alkaline soil but tolerates slightly acid soils[200]. Succeeds in any well-drained peaty soil in sun or light shade[187]. Plants succeed when grown on the top of a broad or retaining wall[219]. A very hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c[187]. The flowers have a soft sweet perfume[245].
Seed - sow April/June in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 3 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the autumn.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Dianthus anatolicus 01
Dianthus barbatusSweet William10
Dianthus caryophyllusCarnation, Clove Pink, Border Carnation22
Dianthus chinensisChinese Pink, Rainbow pink, Annual Pink, China Pink03
Dianthus gratianopolitanusCheddar Pink00
Dianthus plumariusPink, Feathered pink, Cottage Pink10


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Subject : Dianthus superbus  

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