Scabiosa is a genus of about 80 species of annuals, biennials, and perennials mostly from the Mediterranean region. From mainly basal leaves arise thin stems topped by frilly, pincushion-like flowers, generally in summer. Smaller species are useful in rock gardens, while larger ones are welcome in borders or wild gardens.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsPincushion flowers in blue, white, yellow, or pink that attract bees and butterflies. Good cut flower.
CareModerately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil in full sun. Won't tolerate excessive moisture in winter. Deadhead to prolong flowering, although the seedheads of some species are attractive. Divide perennials every three years and replant in fresh soil.
PropagationSow seed of annuals or biennials in early spring at 43° to 53°F indoors or in situ in mid-spring. Sow perennial seed in a cold frame as soon as ripe or in spring. Alternatively, divide or take basal cuttings in spring.