Classical name derived from scabies — itch, as some species were thought to cure itching.
Annual or perennial herbs with a woody rootstock, occasionally subshrubs. Leaves opposite, entire, toothed, lobed or dissected, often in basal rosettes. Flower clusters in ovoid or flattened heads; involucral bracts in 1-2 rows, soft. Flowers with a calyx of 5 bristles that are united at the base. Corolla of 4-5 segments, unequal or 2-lipped. Stamens 4, rarely 2. Ovary with a persistent calyx.
Annual species are grown as bedding plants and for cut flowers, perennials as border plants for their attractive flowers.
Annuals by seed, perennials by division.
Plants not spiny; calyx of 5 bristles.
About 80 species from temperate Eurasia and E and S Africa.
Source: (2002). Dipsacaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Probably derived from S. columbaria.
Other cultivars occasionally listed include S. 'Perfection Blue', S. 'Pink Lace' and S. 'Pink Mist'.