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Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William) is a species of Dianthus native to southern Europe and parts of Asia which has become a popular ornamental garden plant. It is a herbaceous biennial or short-lived perennial plant growing to 30–75 cm tall, with flowers in a dense cluster of up to 30 at the top of the stems. Each flower is 2–3 cm diameter with five petals displaying serrated edges.
Sweet William are fantastic flowers for bees. An old cottage garden favourite, bees are attracted to the pink or white perfumed flowers.
Wild plants produce red flowers with a white base, but colours in cultivars range from white, pink, red, and purple to variegated patterns.