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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Sweet-william - Dianthus barbatus
Other Names:  Sweet-William

Non-native Species

Global Rank: GNR
State Rank: SNA
C-value: 1

Agency Status


External Links

General Description
Stems simple, up to 70 cm tall, glabrous. Leaf sheaths 3-6 mm; blade 2.5-10 cm, margins finely ciliate. Inflorescences usually dense, axillary heads 5-20-flowered (or rarely flowers solitary); bracts lanceolate, equaling or longer than calyx, herbaceous, apex acute; bracteoles 4 (or 6), up to or longer than 4x length of calyx,green, ovate, herbaceous, apex long-aristate. Pedicels 0.1-2 mm. Flowers subsessile; calyx 40-veined, mostly 12-20 mm, glabrous (lobe margins may be ciliate); the lobes ovate to short-tapered, 2-7 mm; petals 4-10 mm, purple, red, spotted with white, or pink or white with (or without) dark center, bearded, apex dentate. Capsules 10-13 mm, equaling calyx length (adapted from Rabeler & Hartman, 2005, in Flora N. America, Vol. 5).

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Occasionally escaping as an ornamental in MT and elswhere, especially northeastern US.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 22

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Old home sites and disturbed areas.

The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus occidentalis (Thorp et al. 1983).


  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Sweet-william — Dianthus barbatus.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from