Scabiosa, which is native to Europe and Asia, can produce 20-50 blooms per plant, with one flower per stem. The small, but showy flowers can grow to be up to 3 inches in size and are available in red, white, pink, lavender, light blue and burgundy. Flowers can be single or double bloom.
These nectar-rich flowers are known to attract butterflies in the garden and will bloom all season long, without much maintenance. They are a delight in cottage gardens, rock gardens and mixed borders. Group plants together for the most visual impact.
Pincushion flowers do best in full sun. Well-drained soil is a must! Those with heavy soils should grow these flowers in a raised bed. In addition, these flowers are drought-tolerant, once they are established and will bloom from spring until frost. Taller varieties should be staked and shorter ones should be protected from the elements (i.e strong winds). Deadhead to encourage repeat blooms.
Pincushion flowers make good cut flowers, lasting 5-10 days with the proper conditions. To extend the life of the flowers, keep away from direct sunlight, excess heat and drafts. Re-cut stems often to provide good water intake. Cut flowers are typically available from June to about October. The dried seed heads are ideal for floral arrangements, adding texture and interest.
Climate zones: 4-9
Fun Flower Facts about Scabiosa (Pincushion Flower):
- Other names: Scabious, Egyptian Bride, Mourning Bride, Starflower Pincushion
- The name Scabiosa comes from the Latin word scabies, meaning “the itch” because it was once thought to be a remedy for the named skin disease.
- “Butterfly Blue” is one of the most popular cultivars used in butterfly gardens.
- Scabiosa succisa is used in traditional herbal medicine to treat coughs, fevers, and internal inflammation.
- In the language of flowers, scabiosa means “unfortunate love.”
- African Flower Pincushion (hookingforhappiness.wordpress.com)