Scabiosa, commonly known as Pincushion Flower, is a delightful perennial plant that belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family. These plants are native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Scabiosa has a remarkably long flowering season, often lasting from early summer well into fall. The name “Pincushion Flower” stems from the distinctive shape of its blossoms, which resemble a cushion filled with pins.
Leaves and Flowers
The leaves of Scabiosa are typically basal, forming a rosette at the base of the plant. They are deeply lobed and often have an attractive, fern-like appearance. The leaves vary in color, ranging from rich green to gray-green, depending on the species and cultivar. Their distinctive texture and form create an appealing contrast against other plants in the garden.
The flowers of Scabiosa are a true highlight, capturing attention with their unique appearance and vibrant colors. The blooms are composed of a central, raised cone surrounded by a fringed disk of petals. The disc is usually dark, ranging from deep purple to black, strikingly contrasting the petals. This distinctive “pincushion” structure gives rise to the plant’s common name. Scabiosa flowers come in various colors, including shades of blue, pink, lavender, white, and even deep burgundy.
There are numerous cultivars and varieties of Scabiosa available, offering a wide range of choices for gardeners. For example, Scabiosa caucasica ‘Butterfly Blue’ is a popular cultivar with lavender-blue flowers that attract butterflies and bees. ‘Pink Mist’ is another delightful variety featuring soft pink petals that create a delicate and romantic ambiance in the garden. Other cultivars, such as ‘Ace of Spades’ and ‘Black Knight,’ boast dark purple or nearly black blossoms, adding a dramatic touch to any planting scheme.