Scabiosa japonica 'Blue Diamonds'

Common Name: pincushion flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to October
Bloom Description: Lilac blue
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Best grown in medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Good drainage is the key to growing scabiosas well. Plants tends to rot in wet, poorly drained soils. Plants are particularly intolerant of wet soils in winter, and will benefit from a light, dry, winter mulch. Best flowering performance is in cool summer climates. Plants are generally intolerant of high heat and humidity, and do not grow well in the deep South (south of USDA Zone 7). Remove spent flowers to encourage additional bloom. May be grown from seed, and may self-seed in the garden.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scabiosa japonica is native to Japan. It is a biennial or short-lived perennial that grows to 2.5’ tall.

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 Japan.

‘Blue Diamonds’ is a dwarf cultivar that typically grows to only 6” tall and is noted for producing profuse lilac blue flowers throughout the summer. Each blue flower head (1-2” diameter) has an outer ring of petals with a central cushion featuring protruding stamens resembling pins in a pincushion. Dark green foliage.


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


Borders, cottage gardens or cutting gardens.