Pincushion Flower

COMMON NAME:  pincushion flower
GENUS: Scabiosa
S. atropurpurea-annual; 24 to 48 inches tall. S. fama-perennial; blue flowers. S. caucasica-blue flowers; 30 inches tall.
FAMILY: Dipsacaceae
BLOOMS: summer
TYPE: annual or perennial
DESCRIPTION:  Pincushion flower is rather exotic looking, grows to a height of 18 to 48 inches and has blooms 3 inches across. The flowers have an intricate form, with many ray flowers and a dome shape. Colors include white, blue, maroon, and red.
CULTIVATION:  Annual pincushion flower comes easily from seed. Start the seeds indoors, four to six weeks before you set them out in a sunny spot in the garden. The plants need good moisture during summer months but very good drainage in winter. They do not perform well in extreme heat but are quite hardy otherwise. Grow them in average soil.

Known as the most beautiful member of the Teasel {Dipsacaceae} family, pincushion flower has also been called sweet scabious and mournful widow, a name based on the fact that the first species brought to England were very dark. According to the language of flowers, pincushion flower meant “I have lost all,” and it was often used in funeral wreaths and given to widows in mourning.
The genus name is from this plant’s alleged powers to heal skin disorders and wounds.
Many species from this genus make good cut flowers and dyes.
The common name pincushion flower comes from the dot-

like pistils that protrude above the flower head.