Such an ignoble name for otherwise billowy and pretty, bee and butterfly attracting plants: in early summer through to autumn, these little perennials have helped add a delicate appearance to the garden with little rounded flowers held high above the foliage.
I’ve a few dotted around the garden:
At 50cm/20″ tall, S. columbaria (or small scabious) is great towards the front of the border, S. ochuleuca grows a little taller, at 1m, and I use it to complement other plants.
Hailing from the temperate parts of South Africa through to Western Asia, these perennials tolerate a hot dry site with ease, but of course perform all the better with a bit of moisture and enriched soil. I always dead-head to extend the flowering season (and the life of the plant). Most Scabiosa are hardy to USDA zone 4/5 (-30°C/-25°F), but need winter drainage to perform well.
Once these start to establish, they are easily lifted and divided in the early spring to form new clumps. In fact, to keep them at their best, they need dividing every few years.
Of course, these are but a few of the dozens & dozens of varieties of pincushion plants, so it could become very addictive trying to get them all!
Happy Gardening 🙂