The Pin Cushion Flower

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Pincushion-Flower’

Scabiosa plants and species (pincushion flower) are an evergreen perennial plant that grow well in full sun to part shade. Excellent in the cottage garden or when used as a border plant along informal paths.

Ome of the standout ‘good things’ about Scabiosa is thay are attrctive to Butterflies, and who doe noyt want them in the garden. Lots of varieties and cultivars, with flowers from white through to blues, purples and similar.

Some are annuals ( Scabiosa atropurpurea ) and others are perennials ( Scabiosa caucasia). Generally regarded as hardy from USDA Zones 3 – 7.

Scabiosa columbaria (see picture right) are a wonderful long flowering species well suited to the garden border, growing en masse in a container or in the rock garden. The cultivars ‘pink mist’ and ‘butterfly blue’ are both popular and very essay to grow to around zone 6.

Scabiosa atropurpurea is another species used widely for the deep red cultivars such as ‘Chile black’, reaching around 1 1/2 ft (.5m) the flower heads are held well above the foliage and like most species will appear in late spring to summer.

Scabiosa Care

  • A free draining soil rich in humus is best.
  • Scabiosa are frost tolerant and come in a wide range of colours. Full sun to part shade, and a well drained position. Plant as plugs or seedlings early spring and give some protection foam slugs.
  • Scabiosa can be deadheaded to improve appearance. Clumps that survive in warmer areas can be divided in early spring, other wise use as an annual.
  • You can also grow them in containers, or even a window box.


  • Height will reach qround 1 ft – 2 ft depending on variety and soil.
  • Well drained soil
  • Flowering from Spring through Summer to Fall.
  • Deadhead spent flower heads to tidy up and encourage a second flush of flowers.

Scabiosa Varieties

We have named cultivars such as Scabiosa Pink Mist and Scabiosa Butterfly Blue. However the species themselves are worth seeking out as well.

  • Scabiosa atropurpurea
  • Scabiosa caucasica
  • Scabiosa africana

Where to buy

CLASSY GROUNDCOVERS – fax: 443-773-5627
PO Box 2556 city: Blairsville GA 30514
Evergreen flowering ground covers, grasses, vines, ivy, … Free Shipping of over 150 varieties of quality groundcovers.