Scabiosa is a genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 in the teasel Family Dipsacaceae
The Dipsacaceae, or teasel family, of the order Dipsacales contains 350 species of perennial or biennial herbs and shrubs in eleven genera. Native to most temperate climates, they are found in Europe, Asia and Africa...

 of flowering plants. Many of the species in this genus have common names that include the word scabious; however some plants commonly known as scabious are currently classified in related genera such as Knautia
Knautia is a genus in the family Dipsacaceae. The common names of these flowers are a variant of "widow flower." Others are given the name "Scabious," although this word belongs to a related genus .Species include:...

and Succisa
Succisa is a genus of flowering plants in the Dipsacaceae family.Species include the Devil's bit scabious, Succisa pratensis....

; at least some of these were formerly placed in Scabiosa. Another common name for members of this genus is pincushion flowers.

Members of this genus are native to Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

. Some species of Scabiosa, notably small scabious (S. columbaria) and Mediterranean sweet scabious (S. atropurpurea) have been developed into cultivars for gardeners.

Scabiosa plants have many small flowers of soft lavender blue, lilac or creamy white colour borne in a single head on a tall stalk. Scabious flowers are nectar rich and attract a variety of insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s including moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

s and butterflies such as the Six-spot Burnet
Six-spot Burnet
The Six-spot Burnet, Zygaena filipendulae, is a day-flying moth of the family Zygaenidae. It is a common species throughout Europe....

. Scabiosa species are also used as food plants by the larva
A larva is a distinct juvenile form many animals undergo before metamorphosis into adults. Animals with indirect development such as insects, amphibians, or cnidarians typically have a larval phase of their life cycle...

e of some Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 species including Grey Pug
Grey Pug
The Grey Pug is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found throughout the Palearctic region and the Near East.The forewings of this species are grey marked with pale fascia and radial lines which give it a mottled appearance. The hindwings are much paler and plainer. Melanism is quite common in...


In 1782, a mysterious pale yellow scabious, called Scabiosa trenta, was described by Belsazar Hacquet
Belsazar Hacquet
Belsazar de la Motte Hacquet, was an Austrian physician and scientist who was born in Le Conquet, France. He studied in Vienna, and was a surgeon during the Seven Years' War. Later he was an instructor of anatomy and natural sciences in Laibach , and in 1788 was a professor at the University of...

, an Austrian physician, botanist, and mountaineer, in his work Plantae alpinae Carniolicae. It became a great source of inspiration for later botanists and mountaineers discovering the Julian Alps
Julian Alps
The Julian Alps are a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps that stretches from northeastern Italy to Slovenia, where they rise to 2,864 m at Mount Triglav. They are named after Julius Caesar, who founded the municipium of Cividale del Friuli at the foot of the mountains...

, especially Julius Kugy
Julius Kugy
Julius Kugy was an Austrian - Italian mountaineer and writer of Slovene origin. He wrote mostly in German. He is renowned for his travelogues from the Julian Alps, in which he reflected on the relationship between man, nature, and culture...

. The Austrian botanist Anton Kerner von Marilaun
Anton Kerner von Marilaun
Anton Kerner von Marilaun was an Austrian botanist and professor at the University of Vienna.-Career:Kerner was born in Mautern, Lower Austria, and studied medicine in Vienna followed by an education in natural history, for which he carried out phytosociologic studies in Central Europe...

 later proved Belsazar Hacquet had not found a new species, but a specimen of the already known submediterranean Cephalaria leucantha.

In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

Among others:
  • Scabiosa atropurpurea
    Scabiosa atropurpurea
    Scabiosa atropurpurea is an ornamental plant of Scabiosa genus in the Dipsacaceae family....

    - Mourning bride, Egyptian rose, Mournful widow, Mediterranean sweet scabious.
  • Scabiosa canescens - Fragrant scabious
  • Scabiosa caucasica - Caucasian pincushion flower
  • Scabiosa columbaria - Pigeon scabious, Pincushion flower, Small scabious, Dove pincushion; found wild on chalk downland
    A downland is an area of open chalk hills. This term is especially used to describe the chalk countryside in southern England. Areas of downland are often referred to as Downs....

     in SE England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • Scabiosa graminifolia
  • Scabiosa lucida - Glossy scabious
  • Scabiosa maritima
  • Scabiosa ochroleuca
    Scabiosa ochroleuca
    Scabiosa ochroleuca, commonly called cream scabious, is a species of scabiosa with creamy yellow flower heads. It is native to Europe and western Asia....

    - Yellow scabious, Cream pincushions
  • Scabiosa palaestrina - Balkan pincushions
  • Scabiosa prolifera
    Carmel daisy
    The Carmel daisy is a flowering plant of the family Dipsacales. Its flowers are creamy yellow, and when the petals are shed they leave a greenish-looking dried flower, good for arrangements....

    - Carmel daisy
  • Scabiosa stellata
    Scabiosa stellata
    Scabiosa stellata is a species of flowering plant in the honeysuckle family known by the common name starflower pincushions. It is native to southwestern Europe and North Africa, and it is known widely as an ornamental plant...

    - Sweet scabious, starflower pincushions, 'Paper Moon' (variety).
  • Scabiosa triandra - Southern scabious
  • Scabiosa vestina
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