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Knautia arvensis

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Clump-forming

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

Resilience

Hardiness

H6 (hardy - very cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Blue and Pale Purple in Autumn and Summer

Foliage

Green in Autumn, Spring and Summer

Size

Ultimate height

1-1.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

field scabious

Family

Caprifoliaceae


Knautia can be annuals or perennials, and may have simple or pinnately lobed leaves and scabious-like flower-heads

K. arvensis is a clump-forming perennial with lax stems bearing simple or pinnately lobed leaves and lilac-blue flowerheads to 4cm across in summer and autumn

Other common names

  • bachelor's buttons
  • black soap
  • blue buttons
  • blue caps
  • clodweed
  • Egyptian rose
  • gypsies' rose
  • gypsy rose
  • lady's cushion
  • purple buttons
  • scabridge

Synonym(s)

  • Scabiosa montana Mill.

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in a moderately fertile, well-drained, preferably alkaline soil in full sun. Attractive to bees

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed in pots in a cold frame in spring or propagate by basal cuttings in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Low Maintenance, Wildflower meadow or Wildlife Gardens


How to care

Pruning

Old flower stems can be cut down after flowering

Pests

May be attacked by aphids

Diseases

Generally disease free