Growing Guide
plant thumbnail

Pincushion Flower

Annual Flower

Also known as Sweet Scabiosa, Mourning Bride
Scabiosa atropurpurea
Dipsacaceae Family
Synonym: Scabiosa x urbicum

This popular annual gets its common name of from its long, gray stamens that protrude like "pins" from the dense "cushion" of the flower. Flowers come in shades of red, white, yellow, pink, blue and purple.

Site Characteristics
  • full sun

Soil conditions:

  • requires well-drained soil
Performs best in slightly alkaline soils.
Plant Traits

Lifecycle: annual

Ease-of-care: easy

Height: 2 to 3 feet

Spread: 0.5 to 1 feet

Bloom time:

  • early summer
  • mid-summer
  • late summer
  • early fall
  • mid-fall

Flower color:

  • red
  • yellow
  • blue
  • violet
  • white
  • pink

Foliage color:

  • medium green
  • dark green

Foliage texture: medium

The leaves can be deeply lobed, slightly lobed, or entire.

Shape: cushion, mound or clump

Shape in flower: flower stalks with upright spikes

Flowers borne on stems up to 2 long above the cushion of foliage.

Special Considerations
Special characteristics:
  • non-aggressive
  • non-invasive
  • not native to North America - Native to the Mediterranean.
  • fragrant - Flowers are fragrant.
  • beneficial insects - Bees.
  • hummingbirds
Special uses:
  • cut flowers
Growing Information
How to plant:

Propagate by seed - Sow indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost, or outdoors after frost danger has passed.

Germination temperature: 70 F to 75 F

Days to emergence: 10 to 14

Maintenance and care:
May require staking. Deadhead to prolong bloom.

More growing information: How to Grow Annuals

'Ace of Spades': highly fragrant, double flowers are very dark brown, almost black. The plants grow to 3 tall.

'Blue Cockade': light blue or purplish flowers up to 2" in diameter.

'Dwarf Double Mix': double flowers in shades of red, purple, white an pink on 1 tall plants.

'Double Mix': 3 tall plants with flowers in shades of red, white, pink, purple and blue.

'Salmon Queen': deep, orange-pink flowers are double. Plants grow to 3 tall.