Content Detail

Macedonian scabiosa is a short-lived perennial with lovely crimson, pincushion-like flowers from early summer to early fall. It prefers average, well-drained soils in full sun. It has a tendency to flop and become untidy looking. Cottage gardens, wildflower gardens, pollinator gardens, and naturalized meadows are areas in which Macedonian scabiosa is a welcome addition.

  • Family (English) Honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Caprifoliaceae
  • Tree or plant type Perennial
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Large plant (more than 24 inches)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest early summer, midsummer, late summer, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Pink, Red
  • Shape or form Mounded, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Wildlife Birds, Butterflies, Insect pollinators

Size and method of spreading:

Macedonian scabiosa reaches between 1 ½ to 2 feet tall and wide at maturity. It readily self-seeds. 

Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)

The native range for Macedonian scabiosa includes Central Europe. 

Attracts birds or pollinators: 

Macedonian scabiosa attracts bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects. Birds are also drawn to the seeds. 

Leaf description:

The leaves of Macedonian scabiosa are silvery-green. They grow around the base of the plant (basal) and in opposite pairs along the stem. The basal leaves may have fewer lobes or have smooth edges (entire), and the leaves higher along the stem are more deeply divided into featherlike (pinnate) lobes. 

Flower description:

Macedonian scabiosa produces clusters of red flowers that form pincushion-like flower heads. The flower heads are up to 1 ½ inches in diameter. The individual flowers have a tubular petal-like structure (corolla) that separates into four deeply cut, irregularly sized lobes. The corolla surrounds four protruding, pollen-bearing structures (stamens). The outermost flowers in the flower head are larger than the inner flowers.

Fruit description:

The fruit of Macedonian scabiosa is small, dry, and does not open at maturity (achenes). 


Plant Care:

Macedonian scabiosa may flop, but shorter cultivars are available. Since the plant is a short-lived perennial, allowing self-seeding can help to maintain populations.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

Macedonian scabiosa is not prone to major issues with diseases, but it is susceptible to aphids.


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