Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ (Dwarf Pincushion)

Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ (Dwarf Pincushion) after I brought it home on 6-10-18, #457-9.

Dwarf Pincushion

Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’

skab-ee-OH-suh  kol-um-BAR-ee-uh

Scabiosa columbaria L. is the accepted scientific name for this species of Scabiosa. The species and genus were both described by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Accepted infraspecific names of Scabiosa columbaria (4): Scabiosa columbaria subsp. banatica (Waldst. & Kit.) Diklic, Scabiosa columbaria subsp. caespitosa Jamzad, Scabiosa columbaria subsp. columbaria (autonym), Scabiosa columbaria subsp. pratensis (St.-Lag.) Braun-Blanq. They all have their own list of synonyms.

As of 12-14-44 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online by Kew lists 66 species in the Scabiosa genus. It is a member of the plant family Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle) with 33 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO. 


Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ (Dwarf Pincushion) flowers on 6-10-18, #457-10.

I have always wanted to try Scabiosa and finally on June 10 (2018) I found several Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ at Lowe’s. I looked through the plants they had on display and found one to bring home. 

Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ (Dwarf Pincushion) on 6-14-18, #459-58.

I can’t remember ever seeing any Pincushion Flowers at any greenhouse or garden center, so I was surprised when I saw the Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ at Lowe’s. I always thought the flowers were neat and the centers actually do look like pins sticking in a pincushion.

Family: Caprifoliaceae.
Origin: Species native to parts of Europe and Africa.
*Zones: USDA Zones 5a-8b (-20 to 15° F).
Size: 12-18” tall.
Light: Sun to part shade.
Soil: Average, well-drained soil.
Water: Average.

*Dave’s Garden says USDA zones 5a-8b but other websites say down to 4a and up to 9b.

Scabiosa columbaria ‘Blue Note’ on 7-30-18, #488-17.

Instead of transplanting it in the ground, I decided to put it in a pot on the front porch. It did perfectly fine for a while then basically stopped flowering. I am not sure why I put it in a larger pot instead of in the ground…

I did a little bit of research about growing Scabiosa and they sound fairly undemanding. Some websites say they prefer well-draining, organically rich soil, and one site said average to sandy. They prefer growing in full sun but tolerates part shade in hotter climates. Weekly watering during dry periods is appreciated. Plants need to be deadheaded to keep them looking tidy and for continual flowering.

Scabiosa need very well-draining soil especially in the winter to keep their roots from rotting. So, make sure you keep this in mind when you are choosing a spot for your plants from the start.

Scabiosa columbaria “Blue Note’ is supposed to be a more compact growing cultivar than ‘Butterfly Blue’ and be more vigorous than ‘Blue Diamonds’. There are several cultivars of Scabiosa available online and they can also be grown from seed. They also come in a variety of colors.

I also noticed that MANY species that were formerly in the Scabiosa genus are now in the Lomelosia genus. That isn’t a new thing even though many websites are still calling them Scabiosa instead of Lomelosia even though the transfer of species was completed in 2011. The Scabiosa species that were relocated are different because they have a “pitted epicalyx”. Hmmm…

The Scabiosa didn’t survive the winter so hopefully, I will find another one locally someday. Next time I will try it in the ground…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.


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