Scabiosa is a genus of about 70 species of flowering plants in the family Caprifoliaceae, native to Africa, Europe and Asia.
The genus includes both annuals and perennials, and all of these varieties are easy to grow and available in a variety of shapes and colors. Each flower is composed of many individual flowers called florets, which are crowded together. The flowers have long stamens that give them pincushion-like appearance, hence the common name. These gorgeous, nectar-rich flowers are very attractive to butterflies and bees, as well as people. Delicate and full of charm, they make good garden plants.
The genus name comes from the Latin word “scabies”, meaning “the itch” because the plant was believed to cure scabies, a highly contagious parasitic skin infection caused by the itch mite Sarcoptes scabiei.
The common name “Pincushion Flower” refers to the appearance of the flower. The center of the flower resembles a pincushion, while the stamens in the center look like pins.
Scabiosa symbolizes love, purity and peace.
Interesting facts about Scabiosa:
There are many different cultivars of Scabiosa. Most of the cultivars are compact and suitable for edging borders and paths. Scabiosa columbaria “Butterfly Blue” is one of the most popular cultivars.
Benefits and Uses
The plant has been used as a traditional medicine by different African tribes. It has been used to treat cough, fever, internal inflammation and skin problems.
The flowers are highly valued as cut flowers and are easy to grow in well-drained, sunny positions.
Scabiosa looks nice in flower arrangements and can be used as a filler or a focal flower.
These flowers come in different colors including blue, purple, white, yellow, pink and red.
Scabiosa typically ranges in height from 15 cm (6 inches) to 60 cm (2 ft).
Scabiosa grows best in rich soil with good drainage and with plenty of sunlight. It can be grown in soils with a pH range from 5.0 to 7.5.