The pincushion flower was introduced to England in 1591 and has been a popular garden flower ever since. The common name refers to the flower heads that when closed resemble pincushions full of pins. The genus is named for "scabies," an itch that some species were said to cure.
Description of pincushion flower: Plants have simple, lance-shaped, deeply cut leaves, with long, graceful flower stems growing to 2 feet high. They bear domed flower heads up to 3 inches across. Pincushion flower ease of care: Easy.
How to grow pincushion flower: Scabiosas want good, well-drained garden soil in full sun. In areas of hot summers, light shade is welcomed. Remove dead flowers for a long period of bloom.
Propagating pincushion flower: By division in spring or by seed.
Uses for pincushion flower: Plant scabiosas in drifts and along the edge of the bed or border. They are excellent as cut flowers.
Pincushion flower related species: Scabiosa columbaria is a compact and floriferous species. 'Butterfly Blue' is a powerhouse of a bloom.
Pincushion flower related varieties: 'Alba' has pure white flowers; 'Fama' has flowers of a true lavender; 'House's Hybrids' produce flowers about 2 inches in diameter in colors of blue, lavender, and white; and 'Miss Willmott' bears flowers in ivory white.
Scientific name for pincushion flower: Scabiosa caucasica