The closest I get to growing carnations in Missouri is Sweet William, a member of the Pink family and hardy carnation cousin. Like roses and other flowers, raised carnations come in several different colors to convey different meanings. A pink carnation means affection. A red carnation means 'I love you.' White carnations mean pure love; striped carnations means regret that a love is not shared, and yellow carnations mean rejection or disappointment.
Carnations are a florist favorite because they are long-lasting, like chrysanthemums.
The other January birth flower for traditional personalized gifts is snowdrop, grown from tiny bulbs planted in fall that in Missouri bloom mid-spring. Snowdrops represent hope and beauty.