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Scabiosa atropurpurea Pincushion Flower, Sweet Scabiosa

Edward F. Gilman, Ryan W. Klein, and Gail Hansen

Introduction

Pincushion flower forms a wonderful, aster-like flower atop a 12-inch-tall herbaceous perennial. The deep pink flowers appear during the warm months.

Leaf and Flower - Abelia x grandiflora: Glossy abelia.
Figure 1. Leaf and Flower - Abelia x grandiflora: Glossy abelia.
Credit: Edward F. Gilman, UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Scabiosa atropurpurea

Pronunciation: skay-bee-OH-suh at-roe-per-POOR-ree-uh

Common name(s): pincushion flower, sweet scabiosa, mourningbride

Family: Dipsacaceae

Plant type: annual

USDA hardiness zones: all zones (Figure 2)

Planting month for zone 7: Jun; Jul

Planting month for zone 8: May; Jun; Jul; Aug

Planting month for zone 9: Apr; May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep

Planting month for zone 10 and 11: Feb; Mar; Apr; May; Jun; Jul; Aug; Sep; Oct; Nov; Dec

Origin: not native to North America

Invasive potential: not known to be invasive

Uses: border; mass planting

Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the plant

Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Figure 2. Shaded area represents potential planting range.
Credit:

Description

Height: 1 to 3 feet

Spread: 1 to 2 feet

Plant habit: upright

Plant density: open

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: medium

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: most emerge from the soil, usually without a stem

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: parted

Leaf shape: spatulate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: not applicable

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: not applicable

Fall characteristic: not applicable

Flower

Flower color: pink

Flower characteristic: showy; summer flowering

Fruit

Fruit shape: no fruit

Fruit length: no fruit

Fruit cover: no fruit

Fruit color: not applicable

Fruit characteristic: inconspicuous and not showy

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: not applicable

Current year stem/twig color: not applicable

Current year stem/twig thickness: thick

Culture

Light requirement: plant grows in full sun

Soil tolerances: acidic; sand; loam; clay

Drought tolerance: unknown

Soil salt tolerances: unknown

Plant spacing: 12 to 18 inches

Other

Roots: not applicable

Winter interest: not applicable

Outstanding plant: not particularly outstanding

Pest resistance: long-term health usually not affected by pests

Use and Management

Pests and Diseases

There are no major problems.

Publication #FPS537

Release Date:February 12th, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Shrubs Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: Agricultural and Food Systems
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is FPS537, one of a series of the Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date October 1999. Revised October 2023. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Gail Hansen, professor, sustainable landscape design; Department of Environmental Horticulture, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Gail Hansen de Chapman
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