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 Wilson’s ‘William IV’

For generic information on the garden carnation see Dianthus caryophyllus L.  Wilson’s ‘William IV’ is a scarlet flake carnation.  ‘Good petals with the colour bright and well divided.’  [Gard. Chron. 1842].  ‘Well marked, a fuller flower and of excellent shape.’  [Gard. Chron. 1843].  ‘This is a very pretty scarlet flake. The white is tolerably good, and the stripes of scarlet very vivid. It is, however, only a middle-sized flower, and ought to be strong grown, and primed well before it attains the desirable size for the competition florist.’  [FC p.8/1843].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Perhaps not surprisingly a number of carnations were named after the late King William.  Walmsley’s ‘William IV’: ‘Another strong scarlet bizarre of rather a dark appearance, the two colours predominating a little over the white; still it is a very beautiful and attractive flower, and well worthy of cultivation by the competing amateur.’  [FC p.8/1843].  Wood’s ‘William IV’, a crimson bizarre: ‘I have had blooms on this root, which I have not seen equalled by any other. The guard petals are large, round, and well shaped; the stripes good, the white clean, and altogether it is with me a favourite flower.’  [British Florist p.217/1844].  An advertisement for Youell and Co. of Great Yarmouth listed an additional seven carnations with the name ‘William IV’ or ‘King William IV; scarlet bizarres from Cartwright, Christian, Moore and Redfern, a pink and purple bizarre from Taylor, and a scarlet flake from Boothman.  [Gard. Chron. 1843].  For further information on Victorian Florists’ Carnations see Dianthus caryophyllus Smith’s ‘Duke of Wellington’.

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 08, 2009 - 04:26 PM | Last updated Aug 26, 2011 - 05:23 PM

Family Caryophyllaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, England

Common Name

Florists’ Carnation

Name in the Camden Park Record

Carnation Wilson’s ‘William IV’

Confidence level high