Scabiosa caucasica 'Fama'
Common Name: pincushion flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: Blue
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Best grown in light, well-drained soils with a neutral pH in full sun. Good drainage is the key to growing this plant well. Tends to rot in wet, poorly drained soils. Particularly intolerant of wet soils in winter, and benefits from a light, dry winter mulch such as hay/straw or evergreen boughs. Also intolerant of high heat and humidity. Remove spent flowers to encourage additional bloom.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scabiosa caucasica, commonly called pincushion flower, is, as suggested by the specific epithet, native to the Caucusus Mountains. It is a clump-forming perennial that typically grows 18-24" tall and blooms from late May to mid-summer. Flowers (2-3" diameter) are lavender to blue (occasionally white), with an outer ring of frilly petals and a center cushion with protruding stamens resembling pins in a pincushion. Flowers bloom singly on strong, stiff stems. Grayish-green foliage features lance-shaped, entire or pinnately-lobed basal leaves and narrow pinnately-lobed stem leaves.

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 means of the Caucasus.

'Fama' has large, 3 to 4 in. wide, lilac blue flowers that are held 2 in. above the lance-shaped, gray green foliage. It grows 1.5 to 2 ft. tall and 1 to 1.5 ft. wide.


No serious insect or disease problems. Must have well-drained soil to thrive.


Borders, cottage gardens or cutting gardens.