Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pincushion Flowers by Heirloom Fan

One of the hardiest perennial flowers in my garden is the Scabiosa columbaria, commonly known as the Pincushion Flower. As you can see in the picture, when the buds are green, they do resemble a little pincushion.
They begin emerging in my garden about the same time as the Columbines so are off to an early start. When the buds open, this variety has lavender-blue flowers and it continues to bloom all season. In fact, they even endure frosts and are one of the last flowers in my garden and the foliage remains green during the winter. Another bonus is that they when they bloom, they attract butterflies and also come in a variety of colors.
Many of us know that perennials are a good choice for Colorado gardens and the Pincushion flower does not disappoint. An interesting fact that I read about this flower is that in ancient times, it was used as a remedy for skin disorders, thus the name Scabiosa.
I would like to recommend garden fact bulletin no. 7.406 “Flowers for Mountain Communities” which can be found at This bulletin has a wealth of information for selection and establishment for these flowers including more information about the Pincushion Flower. It also includes a handy chart which gives the scientific and common name, bloom time, colors, sizes and comments. This chart would be great to take with you when you go to the garden center to help you make your selections.