Dianthus caryophyllus is a herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 80 cm (31 1 in) tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm (6 in) long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme they are around 3–5 cm (1 1–2 in) diameter, and sweetly scented the original natural flower color is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colors, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed. The fragrant, hermaphrodite flowers have a radial symmetry. The four to six surrounding the calyx, egg-shaped, sting-pointed scales leaves are only ¼ as long as the calyx tube.