Scabiosa atropurpurea L.

Pincushion Flower

Annual herb to about 80 cm tall. Basal leaves lanceolate to ovate or lyrate, with large teeth. Stem leaves pinnately lobed, the lobes often finely toothed or dissected. Flower heads mostly deep purple or crimson, sometimes blue, spicily fragrant, to 5 cm wide but usually 2-3 cm; year round but mostly spring and early summer.

S Africa

Naturalised on roadsides in WA, SA, NSW, Vic and Tas.


S. stellata L. is a Mediterranean annual with small white flowers that turn into round seed heads; it is occasionally offered as the cultivar 'Ping Pong'.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Dipsacaceae. In: Spencer, R.. 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.

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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Dipsacales
family       Dipsacaceae
genus        Scabiosa L.