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Scabiosa columbaria

Family: Caprifoliaceae

Common names: PINCUSHION FLOWER, SCABIOUS

Native to: Africa, Asia, Europe

Sentiment: unfortunate love

Plant

Types: biennial, perennial

Forms: clumping, erect

Max height: 2 feet

Max width: 3 feet

Flower

magenta/purple, violet

Leaf

green

Horticulture

Attracts wildlife: adult butterfly, specific butterfly species

Exposure: sun

Landscape use: container

Propagates by: cutting, division, seed

flowers in summer

Soil type: loam

USDA Zones: zone 6 to -10 f, zone 7 to 0 f, zone 8 to +10 f, zone 9 to +20 f, zone 10 to +30 f

Temp. range: -10 to +40 °F

Water: moderate, regular

  • Scabiosa columbaria pink mist  6260002
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  • Scabiosa columbaria
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There are 72 species of Scabiosa, also called PINCUSHION FLOWER or SCABIOUS and a member of the Caprifoliaceae family. Two are cultivated perennials – Scabiosa caucasica and columbaria. Both can be propagated via cutting, seed, or division, and grow to two feet high. They flower in summer, sometimes into fall, prefer moderate to regular watering, and thrive in Zones 4-10. The images shown here with wildlife perched on Scabiosa blossoms illustrates the visual delight provided by the attributes of this plant and the insects it attracts.

Scabiosa columbaria is a violet flowering perennial (or biennial) that grows to 2' high by 3' wide. It is native to Afria, Asia, and Europe. The leaves are green, lobed form, whorl or spiral, and have an obovate footprint with a hairy margin and a blunt tip. It can be cultivated via division, cutting, or seed and will grow in Zones 6-10. Grow it in loam or well-drained soil, in sun, in a container if you want, and give it moderate or regular watering.

Scabiosa attracts Vanessa annabella, West Coast Lady

Vanessa annabella
Container plants that attract adult butterflies - perennial

This plant is one of 186 perennials suitable to grow in a container that will attract adult butterflies. 38 of these plants attract birds and 67 attract specific butterfly species. They can be found in every height range – from tiny to large – from less than a foot high to over 10 feet tall. 19 of these plants are drought tolerant, more than 80 are available for dry or moderate watering conditions. 29 are deciduous, while 71 are evergreen. Some can grow in Zone 2, while the others grow in Zones 3-11. 178 perennial plants that attract butterflies and can be grown in containers in Zone 9. 77 can be used as cut flowers. They come in any one of the available flower colors.

We have found that, when given a choice, butterflies and bees frequent named species more often than cultivars. You may want to keep this in mind when you select plants for your garden if your goal is to attract and support these insects.

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