Dianthus barbatus. Sweet William is a beautiful biennial with erect stems that grow 12 to 24 inches in height. It blooms during the month of June and the blossoms range in color from white to pink, rose, purple, violet and bicolored. They prefer to be planted in a sunny location. Sweet Williams are easy to grow from seed, but because they are biennials, the seed must be sown in mid-summer of one year for flowers the next . Seeds will germinate in 2 weeks.
Sweet Williams were cultivated in 1573 in southern and eastern Europe. They were first grown in United America in mid-1700s.
Heirloom seeds are collected from the gardens and grounds of George Washington's Mount Vernon and cleaned and packaged by hand.