Scabiosa columbaria 'Balflutturite' FLUTTER PURE WHITE
Common Name: pincushion flower 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought


Best grown in evenly moist, loamy to sandy, well-draining soils in full sun. Tolerant of occasional drought once established. Deadhead to encourage reblooming. Cut back large stems to encourage new growth from the base. Propagate through seed or by dividing in spring. Hardy in Zones 5-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scabiosa columbaria, commonly called pincushion flower, small scabious, or pigeon's scabious, is a herbaceous perennial native to grasslands, savannas, and rocky slopes from South Africa north to Ethiopia, northern Africa, Europe, and western Asia. Mature clumps can reach up to 4' tall with an equal spread and will take on a highly branched, open habit. The leaves are variable in shape, but most have deep lobes and toothed margins. Slightly dome-shaped flowerheads reaching around 1" in diameter are borne on long, delicate stems above the foliage from late spring through summer. The flowerheads are made up of small, tubular flowers in a range of colors including pale pink, blue-purple, and creamy white. The lightly scented flowers are highly attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators, and can be used in fresh cut 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.

The specific epithet columbaria means "dove-like", possibly in reference to the white colored form that the blooms can exhibit.

The common name pincushion flower refers to the showy pistils and stamens that protrude from the flowerhead of most species of Scabiosa. The common name pigeon's scabious refers to the specific epithet of this species which means "dove-like".

'Balflutturite' is a compact, mound forming selection of pincushion flower that will reach up to 2' tall with a 1' spread. The slightly domed, 2" wide flowerheads are made up of small, white flowers and held on upright, sturdy stems reaching up to 6" long. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. They also work well in fresh cut arrangements, but lack the fragrance of the species. Commonly found in the nursery sold under the name FLUTTER PURE WHITE. Plant patent number PP30119 applies to this cultivar.


No major pest or disease problems of note. Deer tend to avoid this plant. A combination of cold and wet winter conditions may prove fatal. Provide excellent drainage to avoid rotting out of the roots and crown.


Mixed borders, Mediterranean gardens, rock gardens, meadow plantings.