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Sweet William (Dianthus barbatus)

(Zone 6a)

May 2002, mix of colors.

Common name: Sweet William
Family: Caryophyllaceae
Genus: Dianthus
Species barbatus

Thumbnail by hczone6
Jesteburg-Wiedenhof, Germany(Zone 8a)

This flower was named "Sweet William" after William, Duke of Cumberland, after the Battle of Culloden Moor, where the government (English & Scottish) troops beat the army of Prince Charles Edward Stewart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) thus ending the Scottish nation. Afterwards the Kilt, Tartan and even our Gaelic language was forbidden, until 1850.
The Scots named a weed after the Duke, calling it "Stinking Billy", since he forged the papers of the King 'German Geordie', wherein it stood 'no quarter should be shown' (orders which the King never signed), which apparently gave him the right to slaughter men, women and children even 100 miles from the battlefield.
On his way back over the english border 'Stinking Billy' had proudly claimed to have killed over 35,000 filthy heathens (Scots).
This is not one of my favourite flowers, but it is a nice photo!!!


This message was edited Friday, May 24th 7:49 PM

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Wow -- I had no idea about its history. How terrible!

Jesteburg-Wiedenhof, Germany(Zone 8a)

Well GW,
sometimes history is really gruesome, but there are definitely other flowers named after other 'heroes'.
I must admit though, it is a lovely flower, and smells so lovely...... grrrrrr it makes me sick ;-)

I hope I can at least show, later in the summer, the 'Rose of Prince Charlie' called "The White Cockade".

SORRY HC....... I'm not trying to take the beauty away from your flowers.... they are really excellent. I just wanted to let the others know, and maybe yourself, where the common name for this flower came from.

All the (Highland) best


(Zone 6a)

Kein problem ;)

Jesteburg-Wiedenhof, Germany(Zone 8a)

Alles klar!!

Scottishly in Hamburg,


Wintermoor ;-)

Spicewood, TX(Zone 8b)

Wintermoor, why don't you put that tidbit in the PDB listing? There's a form to post more info and I think this would be great in there!

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