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Click the tartan to view its entry in The Scottish Registers of Tartans which includes registration details, restrictions, and registrant information.


Unregistered tartans may link to one of the web's online design environments for similar information.


For any questions about reproduction of designs or weaving of these tartans, please contact the registrant directly or via this website.

Flower Days

"All in the downs the fleet was moored, banners waving in the wind.
When Black-eyed Susan came aboard, and eyed the burly men.
‘Tell me ye sailors, tell me true, if my Sweet William sails with you.’

~ Black Eyed Susan, John Gay, 1720

April showers have brought May flowers! Sweet Williams, among the most delicate of dianthus flowers, are often found in old-fashioned gardens alongside Black-eyed Susans. This charming pairing is romantically echoed in the 18th-century poem "Black Eyed Susan" by John Gay. In this ballad, a young maiden named Black-eyed Susan boards a ship in the harbor to bid a bittersweet farewell to her lover, William, before his ship sets sail to foreign shores, facing the ever-present risk of trouble on the high seas. After pledging their constancy to each other, the ship's captain bids her to leave, and William's last image is of Black-eyed Susan waving farewell from the small boat rowing her back to land. Sweet William flowers, which are edible and attract bees, birds, and butterflies, are associated with gallantry in the Victorian language of flowers. 🌸 🌸 🌸 💗

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this tartan pays tributes to the beautiful colors in this favourite of old-fashioned garden flowers.

Sweet William is a form of dianthus barbatus, also more commonly known as carnations, or pinks.


Many legends purport to explain how Sweet William acquired its English common name, although none is verified.

The English botanist John Gerard referred to Dianthus barbatus as "Sweete Williams" in his garden catalogue of 1596.  Some have speculated that the flower was named after Gerard's contemporary, William Shakespeare. It is also said to be named after Saint William of York or after William the Conqueror. Another etymological derivation is that William is a corruption of the French oillet, meaning "little eye". 

Although some believe this flower to be named for William, Duke of Cumberland, this story is untrue and the result of confusion.  The Duke's victory at the Battle of Culloden and his generally brutal treatment of the king's enemies, led to the noxious ragword being referred to as  "stinking Billy", not the delicate and faintly scented Sweet William.

The name Sweet William occurs in several 17th century ballads, one of which also links the Black-eyed Susan flower to a common pairing in gardens.  Click the flowers  for a version of one of these many ballads.

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