Two Interesting Facts on Wild Sweet William

Answer

Every plant that you choose to include in your garden has a history behind it that provides hints as to how it develops, where it originates, and what it seems to be. In the instance of wild sweet William, the tale is told in two parts since the common name may be used to refer to both Phlox divaricata and Phlox maculata, which are two different species of phlox. Both of these floral plants may live for many years in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 8 and are all members of the same genus; nonetheless, they each have their own unique way of being intriguing. {{!! -!! Phlox divaricata, often known as forest phlox, is a shade-loving plant that grows to a maximum height of 12 to 15 inches but has the ability to colonise large areas and spread out. It has loose clusters of fragrant blooms that each have five petals and may range in colour from light blue to lavender, as well as hues of pink and white. In the early spring, it produces blooms at the very ends of its stalks that have several branches. {{!! -!! Phlox maculata, often known as meadow phlox, is a sun-loving plant that may grow up to three feet in height and can reach a height of two feet. Late in the summer, meadow phlox blooms with flowers that have five petals and individually resemble woodland phlox. However, meadow phlox flowers are held in panicles that are more cylindrical in form. Phlox of the meadow is often a vibrant shade of pink, although it may also be white. Both plants have their origins in the United States. {{!! -!! The scientific name for this plant is Dianthus barbatus, but it is more often known by its popular name, ‘Sweet William.’ This plant is a short-lived perennial that may be cultivated in USDA zones 3 through 9, although it is typically treated as an annual or biennial in locations that have harsh winters. Although real sweet William may have petals with fringed ends like its carnation cousins, both of these wild sweet Williams receive their common names from the fact that the individual blooms each bear have five petals and are the same size, shape, and colours as sweet William. {{!! -!! Carnations for the garden, also known as Dianthus, are perennial plants that thrive in USDA zones 5 through 9. In addition, each of the three sweet William plants has a pleasant aroma. In addition, woodland phlox and sweet William both bloom at the same time, which further solidifies the relationship between the two plants. {{!! -!! The scientific names of plants are written in Latin and are intended to pass on important identifying information; this is assuming, of course, that you have some knowledge of Latin. The branching, or “divergent,” form of the plant is referred to by its scientific term, “divaricata,” which applies to the species of woodland phlox. {{!! -!! It is only when you take a closer look at meadow phlox that you can see how it got its species name,’maculata.’ According to the New York Natural Heritage Program, the word translates to spotted, and it refers to the tiny red spots that run along the green stems of tall wild sweet William. ‘Maculata’ means spotted. {{!! -!! The history of woodland phlox dates back quite a ways. According to the National Gardening Association, the plant survived the hot and dry era that occurred between the retreat of glaciers 120,000 years ago and the retreat that occurred 11,000 years ago. This allowed the plant to live until modern times. Following the retreat of the glaciers, two distinct colonies of woodland phlox emerged: those with notched petals migrated westward from the Appalachians and are the unidentified species Phlox divaricata laphamii, whilst those that spread east are the woodland phlox that we see today. {{!! -!! Even though it is a widespread garden plant, meadow phlox is uncommon in the wild and is listed as a threatened or endangered plant species in several states. Even though it is abundant in gardens, meadow phlox is rare in the wild. According to Oxford Reference, one more interesting factoid is that the dianthus species, for which these two are named, is said to have been renamed by England’s King George II for his brother William Augustus after William’s victory over the Scots at Culloden in 1746. This renaming is said to have occurred after William’s victory over the Scots in 1746. This particular shrub is known as “stinking Billy” in Scotland.

Wild Sweet William Care

Phlox divaricata, also called woodland phlox, is a shade lover that reaches only 12 to 15 inches tall, but can spread to form wide colonies. It features loose clusters of five-petaled, fragrant flowers in pale-to-lavender blue as well as shades of pink and white. It bears flowers at the tips of multibranched stems in early spring.

Phlox maculata, also called meadow phlox, is a tall, sun-loving plant that reaches 2 to 3 feet tall. Meadow phlox flowers in late summer with five-petaled flowers that individually resemble woodland phlox, but are borne in narrow, cylinder-shaped panicles. Meadow phlox is often bright pink, but can be white. Both plants are U.S. natives.

The Common Name Game

‘Sweet William’ is the common name of Dianthus barbatus, a short-lived perennial in USDA zones 3 through 9, often grown as an annual or biennial in areas with cold winters. Both wild sweet Williams get their common names because the individual five-petaled flowers each bear are the same size, form and colors of sweet William, though true sweet William can have petals with fringed tips like its carnation relatives.

Garden carnations (Dianthus) are perennial in USDA zones 5 through 9. All three sweet William plants also have a sweet scent. In addition, woodland phlox flowers at the same time as sweet William, strengthening its connection to the plant.

A Little Latin

The scientific names of plants are in Latin and are designed to pass on key identifying information – provided you ever picked up any Latin. In the case of woodland phlox, the ‘divaricata’ species name references the branching, or “divergent,” form of the plant.

You have to look closely at meadow phlox to see how it earned its species name, ‘maculata.’ The word translates to spotted, says the New York Natural Heritage Program, and refers to the tiny red spots that run along the green stems of tall wild sweet William.

A Few More Fun Facts

Woodland phlox has a long history. According to the National Gardening Association, the plant survived the hot, dry period between the recession of glaciers 120,000 years and the most recent recession 11,000 years ago. After glaciers receded, two separate colonies emerged – those with notched petals spread westward from the Appalachians and are the unnamed species Phlox divaricata laphamii, while those that spread east are current-day woodland phlox.

Meadow phlox, though a common garden plant, is considered rare in the wild and is on the threatened or endangered plant species list in some states. According to Oxford Reference, one more interesting tidbit is that the dianthus species, for which these two are named, is said to have been renamed by England’s King George II for his brother William Augustus after William’s victory over the Scots at Culloden in 1746. In Scotland, the plant is called “stinking Billy.”