The genus Dianthus contains around 338 semi-evergreen or evergreen perennial, annual and biennial species of herbaceous plants and subshrubs with woody stems. They are known by the general name carnation. Usually grown for their strongly scented, highly colourful, filly, 5-petalled flowers, these plants are well placed in rock gardens. Most species display different shades of pink and white flowers, but one is known to have yellow and purple flowers. They mainly originate from Europe and Asia, with some species found in North Africa and one arctic species, Dianthus repens is found in North America. There are many colourful, cultivated forms of this genus and they are common garden plants. Short-lived perennial species are best propagated by division, cuttings or layering. Most species can be grown from seed.