Dianthus basuticus, the Drakensberg carnation or Lesotho dianthus, is a densely tufted cushion forming perennial that grows to a height of 15 cm. It has opposite, narrow leaves with a grass-like, blue-green appearance. Each leaf pair is joined at the base in a sheath around the stem.
Flowers have long calyx tubes with bracts at the base. The five-petalled white flowers in picture may also be red or pink. The petals have finely toothed margins. This variation has broad flat petal tips and straight sides, forming a nearly triangular petal shape with only the top margin being serrated; in other subspecies and variations the petals may also be ovate, tapering to acute tips.
D. basuticus subsp. basuticus var. basuticus grows in rocky grassland at high altitudes in eastern South Africa and in Lesotho. It is not threatened early in the twenty first century, although it is used in traditional medicine and magic. This plant was spotted in the Mkhomazi Wilderness Area in January (Manning, 2009; iSpot; www.redlist.sanbi.org).