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The Deptford pink is an upright plant, not unlike its garden relative Sweet-William in appearance. The flowers are stalkless and a rosy-red colour, about one centimetre in diameter. The leaf rosette at the base of the plant is green, a feature that distinguishes it from some other members of the pink family, which have grey-green leaves. The plant was given its English name by the 17th century herbalist Thomas Johnson in a celebrated case of mistaken identity. In fact, what Johnson found and described in 1633 was probably maiden pink Dianthus deltoides. As the first name given to a plant is generally the one botanists stick to, the East End of London is 'famous' for a species that has not grown there in historical times, and possibly not at all.


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Source: ARKive


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