The Deptford pink is known to occur at only one place in the Royal National City Park, namely Beckholmen, where it most likely arrived long ago as a stowaway on some visiting ship. For a while its existence was threatened by the fact that its location on Beckholmen used to get buried each year under general harbour rubbish. As part of Skansen’s project for threatened plants, seeds were collected and cultivated and it was possible to replant the flower on Beckholmen, but now on the sandy slopes beside Smedjan, only ten or so metres away from their original site. They now live a far safer existence and flower quite profusely every year.
The Royal Djurgården Administration has erected a walking bridge for visitors to the West Dock. If you look down at the slopes below Smedjan’s yellow building, you might see a pink. Otherwise ask a harbour worker. They usually know which plants have come to Beckholmen with ship ballast.
The Deptford pink is a rarity in Sweden and grows only along the coasts. It can be up to 5 decimetres high and its small dark pink flowers appear in the late summer, sitting in tight bunches – hence its name.