Scabiosa caucasica var. alba

Common Name: pincushion flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: Caucasus
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: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought

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.

Var. alba has white flowers.

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.


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


Borders, cottage gardens, cutting gardens.