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The delicate beauty and old-fashioned charm of the scabiosa flower has us swooning every spring. It seems butterflies feel the same as this pretty bloom is commonly found in butterfly gardens due to scabiosa being prime attractors of butterflies and other pollinating insects given their honey-like scent and nectar-rich flowers.
Scabiosa, of the honeysuckle family, is also known as pincushion flower due to its round head of compact petals studded with prominent needle-like stamens resembling pins on a pincushion. It is available in an array of calming colours, including varying blues, lilac, pink, and white but also can be found in moody hues of burgundy, deep purple, and red. Let’s explore this beautiful, button-shaped bloom. 

History of scabiosa

The word Scabiosa derives from the latin word ‘scabere’ meaning ‘to scratch’. In medieval and Roman times, herbal remedies containing scabiosa were used to relieve the itch of the highly contagious skin disease scabies. African tribes also used the plant to treat cough, fever, and internal inflammation.

Scabiosa is contradictory in its meaning. The softer hued blooms represent pure love, radiating warmth, love, purity, and peace. Historically, according to Victorian floriography, dark varieties mean unfortunate love signifying death and widowhood and have gained the common names mourning bride and mournful widow. Similarly, in Hanakotoba, the Japanese language of flowers, scabiosa means “I have lost all”.

Scabiosa is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa with some species found in America. It is the national flower of Mongolia where it is commonly used to adorn silver plates on horse-riding saddles. The species of scabiosa that is native to Mongolia symbolizes tolerance to the Mongolian people.

How to care for scabiosa

Scabiosa have very delicate petals and thin stems which need to be handled with care. When selecting scabiosa, choose strong stems, avoiding soft stems and damaged petals. Sometimes scabiosa stems are crooked or wavy which this is normal for this type of flower. 

Cut approximately 2cm off the ends of the stems on an angle and immediately plunge into a vase of cool water. Recut the stems and change the water every two days and keep away from direct sunlight, excessive heat, and drafts. Scabiosa are sensitive to ethylene so keep away from car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, and fruit. 

How to style scabiosa

Scabiosa is the ultimate cottage garden classic and is a hot contender for wildflower-esque posies. If the vibe is to look as though the stems have been plucked straight from the garden, this dainty bloom is the perfect addition. 

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We hope you can come to visit our Armadale Florist soon.