A plant that attracts butterflies to our garden is the pincushion flower. The botanical name is Scabiosa, and these plants usually have blue, white, or pink flowers. As their common name suggests, the shape of the flower resembles a pincushion as the central florets form a rounded shape.
There are approximately 80 species in the genus, and some are annuals as well as biennials and perennials. These plants hate wet feet in the winter and thrive in full sun and well-drained, neutral-to-alkaline soil. Deadhead frequently to keep them blooming and divide them in the spring. If you do remember to consistently deadhead these plants in the summer, you will encourage them to bloom well into the fall since they do not mind some frost in the air.
The blue Scabiosa caucasica, hardy in zones 4-10, is 18-24 inches high and as broad. The cultivar ‘Miss Wilmott’ has white flowers which are lovely in mixed bouquets, and the cultivar ‘Clive Greaves’ has especially lovely lilac-blue blooms.
There is a large-sized pincushion-type plant, sometimes called Scabiosa gigantea, that can grow up to 6 feet tall with yellow flowers on long stems. It is actually Cephalaria gigantea, which grows easily from seed. Both the average-size and the large-size pincushion plants are lovely and rewarding to grow, and especially enhance cottage-type gardens.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on pincushion flower.