Small Scabious – Scabiosa columbaria

Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) is sometimes known as Pigeon scabious, Pincushion flower, Small scabious or Dove Pincushion. This plant can reach a height of 70cm, topped with a large pale purple flower head, which flowers between June and October. The stem is slender and less hairy than that of the Field Scabious, but Small Scabious is shorter / smaller, and also has 5 petal lobes rather than 4. The Small scabious is a plant that attracts a wide range of insects which in turn help to pollinate the flower, these insects include the bumblebees and butterflies.

Small Scabious is a winter plant and is often found in dry, infertile, calcareous soils, typically found in meadows and pastures, in particular fields that are grazed down by sheep. It can also be found on banks and verges and occasionally chalk pits and limestone quarries.

Small Scabious continues to grow into the summer due to its roots growing deep into the soil allowing it to exploit ground water, however due to this plant being short in height it does not grow well when it is in tall or productive grassland areas.

Height: Up to 70cm
Flowering Time: June to October
Preferred Conditions:  Prefers to grow in dry, unfertile, calcareous soils, and can typically be found in meadows and pastures, and sometimes limestone / chalky quarries.

Small Scabious - Scabiosa columbaria