Scabiosa Columbaria, Small Scabious

Scabiosa columbaria can be distinguished from the two similar scabious species (knautia arvensis and succisa pratensis) by having flowers with five lobes rather than four.

Common name:
Small scabious
Scientific name:
Scabiosa columbaria
Main flower color:
England and Wales; commonest in the south
Up to 70 cm
Dry grassland, especially on calcareous soils
Flat-topped clusters, up to 3 cm in diameter, of several dozen flowers, which have tubular corollas opening to five lobes. Flowers are largest around the edge of the cluster. At the base of the corolla are a calyx of dark bristles, seen most easily underneath, where the bristles project beyond the narrow bracts at the base of the cluster. Bracts and stems have a covering of appressed hairs
Basal leaves, in a rosette, are coarsely lobed or toothed, with a large end lobe, while stem leaves are also pinnate, with narrower, more well-defined lobes
June to September