Introducing...

Border scabious

Botanical name: Scabiosa, Knautia

With a long flowering season, scabious are valued border perennials. The colours – white, pink, lavender-blue and a deep, almost blackish ruby red – lend themselves to cottage garden plantings.

Looks

Thin stems that rise up from slightly hairy leaves are topped by flowers, sometimes pincushion-like, that comprise a central tuft of short, curved petals, surrounded by longer, sometimes ruffled petals.

Likes

Perennial scabious like a sunny position in any soil that drains easily, preferring slightly alkaline (chalky) soil. Tall types may benefit from staking.

Dislikes

Permanently wet soil or a position in shade do not suit these plants. Though they can grow in acid soil, plants are likely to be short lived.

Did you know?

If you keep removing faded flowers from the plants, they can carry on producing until early autumn.

Border scabious we recommend

Useful advice

Perennial borders: choosing plants

Perennial borders: choosing plants

Perennials: cutting back

Perennials: cutting back

Perennials: dividing

Perennials: dividing

Wildflower meadow: maintenance

Wildflower meadow: maintenance

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Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.