Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Beaujolais Bonnets'

Common Name: pincushion flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: Burgundy
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Annual
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Best grown in average, light, medium moisture, well-drained soils with a neutral pH in full sun. These bushy plants have a tendency to flop in the garden, particularly when grown in overly rich soils, so it is recommended that plants be sited near sturdier plants which can provide some support. Plant seed in the ground in spring (may be planted the previous fall in mild winter climates). Seed will germinate when the soil warms. Seed may also be started indoors (peat pots or cell packs) 4-6 weeks prior to the last spring frost date. Plant seedlings about 9" apart. Good soil drainage is important. Rot may occur in wet, poorly drained soils. Best performance is in Mediterranean-type climates (cool summers). Plants are generally intolerant of high heat and humidity, and do not grow well in the deep South (south of USDA Zone 7). Deadheading spent flowers may encourage additional bloom, however spent flower heads remain attractive and can be left in place for ornamental interest. Plants may self-seed in the garden in optimum growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scabiosa atropurpurea is an annual that is native to the Mediterranean area (southern Europe, western Asia and Northern Africa). It may sometimes survive a winter (particularly in mild climates), but it is generally considered to be an annual. The center cushion of each flower purportedly resembles a pin cushion, hence the common name. Basal leaves are oblong-spatulate to lyrate with toothed margins. Stem leaves are pinnatifid. Flowers are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowers are attractive when fresh cut or when added to dried arrangements.

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

Specific epithet comes from the Latin words atro meaning dark and purpureum meaning purple in reference to flower color.

‘Beaujolais Bonnets’ produces a long late spring to mid/late summer bloom of burgundy flowers (to 2” wide) atop wiry stems typically rising to 18-24" tall. Each flower features an outer ring of frilly, flat, pale burgundy red petals which surround a domed, dark, purple-burgundy center cushion. Contrasting white stamens add ornamental interest.


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


Borders, rock garden, cottage gardens or cutting gardens. Meadows. Container plant.