Scabiosa – Pincushion Flower
To those persons who are familiar with the annual sorts of Scabiosa, we need only say that the perennials resemble the annuals, except that the perennials have shorter florets at the center, while in the annual sorts the flowers are made up of florets of more uniform length. Scabiosa caucasica is the commonest perennial with flowers either light lilac blue or white. The plants grow 2 feet to 3 feet tall. The leaves are not cut as is the case with the annual sorts. It blooms from June to September. S. japonica grows 1 1/2 feet tall; the flowers are violet-blue and the leaves are somewhat lobed. S. ochroleuca is a sulphur colored species growing 1 1/2 feet tall.
UTILIZE. The graceful, long, wiry stems of the Pincushion Flower are attractive in the border, rising as they do from a tuft of leaves upon the soil. They are best used in the front of the border. As cut flowers they are long keeping and are easily arranged in vases.
GENERAL. They prefer well drained locations and a sunny exposure. The plants are said to prefer limestone soil. They winter over excellently unless standing in water-logged soil.
PROPAGATION. Scabiosas are readily increased from seed or by division of the plants. The strongest plants are best raised from seed. Mr. Cecil Davies writes that “in saving seed, that produced by the central flowers should be chosen.” The seeds are best sown in Spring, but the plants sometimes do not bloom until the next year.