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Scabiosa (scab-ee-OH-suh)

Common Name:  Pincushion flower

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average to rich, sandy, well-drained loam

Moisture:  Slightly dry, very dry in winter

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  3 - 8

Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue'

Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' PP#8957

Scabiosa Description and Cultural Information

Scabiosa caucasica, pincushion flower. 18 - 24". These plants have deeply cut, basal foliage and large pincushion looking flowers on long stems. The species has blue flowers, but many cultivars are available in blue, purple, pink, and white.

Scabiosa columbaria, small scabious. 3'. This plant is taller than S. caucasica, but has smaller lavender-blue flowers. 'Butterfly Blue' is a more compact hybrid of uncertain parentage, but it is probably the best plant available in the genus. It has lavender-blue flowers from May to frost. 'Pink Mist' PP#8957 is its cousin with soft pink flowers and is also very long blooming.

How to Grow:  Plant Scabiosa in sandy to loamy, average to rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Good drainage, especially over the winter is essential as plants easily rot if they are wet. Place plants in a cool, partly shaded location in the South. They are best propagated by seed and self-sown seedlings can be common.

Landscape uses:  Use Scabiosa in the rock garden or as a border plant at the edge of well-draining, raised beds where they will bloom all summer long. Combine them with Stokesia, Knautia, Veronica, Penstemon, Dianthus, balloon flowers (Platycodon), Sedum and other drought tolerant perennials.

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