The long stems and tufted flowers of the annual Scabiosa (S. atropurpurea) are charming. The colors also are pleasing in all cases white, light pink, rose, fiery scarlet, pale yellow, azure blue, and deep blackish-purple. The stamens are light in color and in contrast with the petals appear like pins stuck into the flower, hence the name Pincushion flower. The seed heads are peculiarly bristly. The plants grow 2 to 2.5 feet tall.
USE. Its long stems, good keeping quality, and charming colors combine to make this a most useful cut flower. In the garden also the Scabiosas are attractive and popular among bees and butterflies. The maroon or blackish-purple forms supply some of the deepest colors among all the annuals.
GENERAL. The seeds may be sown indoors, but it is just as well to sow them in the open in May. The seedlings should be transplanted to stand 6 to 8 inches apart.
If the seed heads are picked off before they ripen, the production of flowers will be greatly encouraged and the plants will bloom until frost.
SCABIOSA – Pineushion flower – Mourning-bride
(Sweet Scabious) (Egyptian-rose) (Mournful-widow)
(Latin for itch, referring to its medicinal use)