Cheddar Pink Facts
- This beautiful creation of Nature and evolution most frequently goes by the descriptive common name of the Cheddar Pink. The lovely plant does have at least one other general title, though. That’s the equally simple yet appropriate term of clove pink.
- Within scientific circles, however, the wonderful flora remains better known by its technical name. That, though, is a rather difficult term for the layperson to pronounce. That’s due to the fact that it bears the official moniker of Dianthus gratianopolitanus.
- British botanist, Samuel Brewer holds the distinction of being the first person to officially recognize it as a separate and distinct species. The exact date of that is unknown, however. The english naturalist, John Ray, recorded the recognition in 1724.
- Fortunately, the Cheddar Pink seems to be maintaining a population base that’s both stable and sufficient. That status further appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its native range. The IUCN, therefore, currently does not place it on the Red List.
- The gorgeous flora nevertheless faces some potential threats to its continued existence, at least. These consist of several factors, most of which stem from the actions of humans. They include such related perils as habitat loss and ongoing climate change.
Cheddar Pink Physical Description
The remarkable Cheddar Pink easily captivates and enthralls those who encounter it. Yet, it’s an excellent example of how Nature places no importance on size. That’s because this marvel of botanical beauty remains relatively small in terms of sheer physical stature.
This beautiful perennial develops as a ground-hugging charmer. Given individual examples of the plant rarely exceed 6 in (15 cm) vertically. Most, in fact, do not reach that height. It spreads out more, reaching a maximum measured width of approximately 12 in (30 cm).
The impressive herbaceous species also develops as evergreen in nature. Typically, its many thin stalks produce copious quantities of foliage. These highly elongated leaves usually appear in a generally mound-shaped structure, and present a grass-green shade.
It’s the stunning flowers of the Cheddar Pink, though, that garner the most attention. Much like the plant they spring from, however, they do not do so due to their size. That’s because each of these gorgeous blooms attains an average width of only about 1 in (2.5 cm).
These the marvel produces in great abundance, though. Each appears at the top of a thin, wiry stem. Its petals generally present a fringed appearance, as well. But it’s their colors that catch the eye. These strongly fragrant blooms range from light pink to rose in color.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Caryophyllales
- Family: Caryophyllaceae
- Genus: Dianthus
- Species: D. gratianopolitanus
Cheddar Pink Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The magnificent Cheddar Pink evolved as endemic to a moderately broad swathe of the globe. Its exact range of habitation coincides with many other botanical wonders. That’s true since it evolved as native to a portion of what’s now known as the continent of Europe.
Within that greater area, however, it’s limited to only an extremely specific portion, natively. Its original territory extended from France to southern England. From there, it’s range extended as far as Poland. It’s unknown if it ever appeared beyond this current habitat zone.
Now, though, it lives in only one known place on earth, naturally. That’s the wonderful formation known as Cheddar Gorge, thus the name. Inside of this location, however, it exhibits very specific habitat requirements that further restrict its potential for spreading.
Inside of its present location, the plant only lives on steep cliffs. These happen to also be of limestone nature. This site shares a few attributes with other places it once appeared. The species requires a combination of full sun, medium water, and good drainage.
The Cheddar Pink most commonly blooms from early May to late June. Its principal pollinators seem to consist of a variety of locally prevalent butterfly and bee species. Some specimens also display a tendency to bloom two separate times during this cycle.
Despite its seemingly fragile nature, evolution provided it with an efficient means of defense. Few if any grazing animals, such as deer, feed on it. That’s because it contains chemical that render it toxic to many creatures. That list includes horses, dogs, cats, and deer.