Easy-to-grow Scabiosa must be one of the prettiest garden flowers. Growing in small clumps, the flowerheads stand above the foliage, gently moving with the slightest breeze. On warm summer days, butterflies are often seen on the flowers, for Scabiosa is one of their favourite nectar plants.
The Dipsacaceae or Scabious family is found in Africa and Asia, but is most abundant in the Mediterranean region where there are 11 genera and 290 species. Two genera are indigenous to southern Africa, Cephalaria and Scabiosa. In South Africa there are nine species of Scabiosa.
The Scabiosa family is large and so plants grown in the garden may be hardy annual, half hardy annual, hardy biennial or Hardy perennial in nature.
Scabiosa range in height from 15 to 60cm. They bloom from spring through to the first months of autumn, and carry domed flowers of white, blue, purple, red or yellow atop long stems.
As they are often mat forming they make ideal plants for use in garden borders.
Some of the more common names for Scabiosa include, Scabious, Sweet Scabious, Pincushion flower and Mourning-bride.
The timing of the sowing of Scabiosa depends on their nature. Annuals are usually sown after the last frost, perennials may be sown at the start of spring or autumn. Scabiosa seeds should be lightly covered once sown and spaced at about 30 to 40cm apart. They like to grow in sunny areas that have good drainage. Ideally the soil that Scabiosa grows in should be humus rich, slightly alkaline (pH7 to pH8) and moist.
For the full story on propagating and growing Scabiosa visit my website http://tinyurl.com/yaazqdz now.