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Pincushion flower

Scabiosa spp.

Pincushion flower

One of the longest blooming perennials, pincushion flowers have old-fashioned charm. They get their name from their interestingly shaped flowers, which resemble little pincushions. They are as at home in cottage gardens as they are in more formal borders. Group several plants together for more impact. The lavender blue, pink, or white flowers bloom over several weeks and are good for cutting. Pincushion flowers must have good drainage and full sun. They like alkaline soil, so if yours tends to be acidic, add lime to raise the pH.

Plant Type:
Plant Height:
10-36 inches tall, depending on variety
Plant Width:
9-24 inches wide, depending on variety
Flower Color:
White, pink, lavender, purple flowers, depending on variety; gray/silver leaves depending on variety
Bloom Time:
Blooms early summer to early fall, depending on variety
Landscape Uses:
Containers,Beds & Borders
Special Features:
Flowers,Attractive Foliage,Cut Flowers,Attracts Butterflies,Drought Tolerant,Deer Resistant,Easy to Grow
Top Varieties

(Scabiosa caucasica) bears 2-inch wide, flat flowerheads with pincushion-like central florets surrounded by larger petal-like florets in pale blues, pinks, and white. These are carried on 2 feet tall stems. Zones 4-9.
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(Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue') blooms all summer with lavender-blue flowers on 16-inch-tall stems. Zones 3-8.
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Plant It With

The substantial flower heads of garden phlox are pleasing companions for pincushion flower in sunny borders. They bloom at the same time.


Low-growing veronicas mix well with Butterfly Blue or Pink Mist pincushion flower at the front of sunny borders.


The rosy or red miniature carnation flowers of maiden pinks bloom at the same time as Butterfly Blue pincushion flower and they combine well at the front of the sunny borders.


In sun, the pale lemon daisy flowers of Moonbeam coreopsis bloom at the same time as Butterfly Blue pincushion flower and they make fine companions.

Stem Cuttings