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Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower)

More Information About Scabiosa

Scabiosa is a genus of 100 species of flowering perennials native primarily to the Mediterranean but also to Africa, Asia, and Europe. The genus name, Scabiosa, and the lesser known common name, scabious, derive from the Latin word for "scab" or "itch" because the plants were used in medieval medicine to treat the disease, scabies. An old-fashioned common name, mournful bride, refers to the fact that scabiosa was used in funeral wreaths and symbolizes mourning, widowhood, and unfortunate love. We prefer the happier, less itchy and more garden-centric name, pincushion flower, which perfectly describes the wide, flat, frilly flower clusters in a variety of colors that are held at the end of wiry stems. Scabiosa is a valuable garden perennial because the showy flowers (great for arrangements) bloom over a long period of time, attracting birds, bees and butterflies and they are both drought-tolerant and deer-resistant.

We grow the perennial scabiosa but it can also be found as an annual or biennial.. Scabiosa prefers full sun, rich, well-drained soil and looks great along the edge of a border or grown in mass groupings. Deadheading will increase flowering. Try pairing scabiosa with other sun-loving, low-growing perennials like campanula, hemerocallis, dianthus, agave, and sedum. When you are ready to buy scabiosa for your garden, check out our online list of scabiosa for sale.