Unique plants from Romania (Part 2)

Piatra Craiului's Pink (Dianthus callizonus)

Dianthus is a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the family Caryophyllaceae, native mainly to Europe and Asia, with a few species extending south to north Africa, and one species (D. repens) in arctic North America. Common names include carnation (D. caryophyllus), pink (D. plumarius and related species) and sweet william (D. barbatus). The name Dianthus is from the Greek words dios ("god") and anthos ("flower"), and was cited by the Greek botanist Theophrastus.

The species are mostly perennial herbs, a few are annual or biennial, and some are low subshrubs with woody basal stems. The leaves are opposite, simple, mostly linear and often strongly glaucous grey-green to blue-green. The flowers have five petals, typically with a frilled or pinked margin, and are (in almost all species) pale to dark pink. One species, D. knappii, has yellow flowers with a purple centre.

Dianthus callizonus has a short stem (5 to 10 cm tall), wearing a single flower on top with a corolla about. 3 cm in diameter, formed of 5 flat geared petals, red-carmine, at the bottom with a purple spot, speckled with white and with silky shining hairs. Flower show in the center a mottled purple ring, very characteristic. Inside, the petals are white-green, and leaves that are narrow, elongated for 2 to 4 cm and are arranged in pairs. Blooms in August and grows on steep slopes beams of Piatra Craiului Mountains (Braşov County), is endemic to this massif. The plant is unique in the world, is a natural monument and is protected by law.