Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue'
Common Name: pincushion flower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to frost
Bloom Description: Lavender-blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates part shade, particularly in the hot summer climates of the deep South. Prefers light soils with neutral pH. Intolerant of wet soils, especially in winter. Remove spent flowers to encourage additional bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scabiosa, commonly called pincushion flower, is a genus of about 80 species of annuals, biennials and perennials primarily from the Mediterranean region but also from other parts of Europe, the Caucasus, Africa, Asia and Japan.

Genus name comes from the Latin scabies meaning the itch in reference to the plant's rough leaves which could supposedly cure the itch.

'Butterfly Blue' is a compact, clump-forming perennial which typically grows only 12-15" tall. Long and profuse bloom from late April until frost. Blooms almost all year in mild winter climates. Flowers (2" diameter) feature an outer ring of frilly, flat, lavender-blue petals and a paler domed center cushion with protruding stamens (resembling pins in a pincushion). Flowers bloom singly on stiff stems. Finely cut, grayish-green basal leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Must have well-drained soil to thrive. Watch for aphids and whiteflies. Powdery mildew may occur.

Garden Uses

Dwarfing habit and lengthy bloom period make these excellent plants for grouping or massing in border fronts and rock gardens. Can be used as edging. Attractive when combined with the pink-flowered companion plant Scabiosa 'Pink Mist'.