Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Dianthus caryophyllus Giddens’ ‘Vespasian’

For generic information on the garden Carnation and Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Giddens’ ‘Vespasian’ is a light edged purple picotee, probably introduced in 1841.  [Gard. Chron. 1841].  ‘Delicate light-edged purple, petals very fine and well formed, edging very regular.’  [Gard. Chron. 1842].  ‘A delicate and finely-formed flower, requiring very little dressing; the feathering is nest and distinct; one of the best in its class.’  [Gard. Chron. 1843].  ‘Comparatively an old flower, but indispensable to a collection, and it is not easily “shaken off” at an exhibition; its marking is delicate and regular, and is generally esteemed first rate.’  [Gard. Chron. 1846].  ‘Light-edged, purple picotee: pod very good; petals very fine and well formed; ground pure; edging very delicate and regular. This is a first-rate flower of its class when well grown.’  [FC p.79/1849].  ‘Another most excellent flower, deserving of a place in the smallest collection, possessing nearly every property of a first rate flower.’  [BF p.220/1844].

Horticultural & Botanical History

For further information on the Victorian Picotee see Dianthus caryophyllus Mathew’s ‘Ne Plus Ultra’.

History at Camden Park

In October 1849 a large consignment of plants was sent by Veitch and Sons, Exeter, to J. C. Bidwill at Camden Park.  The consignment included named Carnations and Picotees, the present plant included.  [MP A2943].


Published Apr 12, 2009 - 02:24 PM | Last updated Aug 26, 2011 - 02:45 PM

Family Caryophyllaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

Common Name

Florists’ Picotee

Name in the Camden Park Record

Picotee Giddens’ ‘Vespasian’

Confidence level high