With Heritage Month in full swing, we’re celebrating indigenous plants that are needed in every South African garden. With so many to choose from, we’re focusing on how to grow Scabiosa.

Also known as pincushions for their cute button-like organs. Scabiosa plants are staples in every South African garden.

Nothing quite beats the gentle sway of a ruffled scabiosa flower in a spring or summer breeze. in classic garden colours such as white, mauve and lavender, these delicate blooms fit effortlessly into any garden design.

Despite what their dainty blooms may imply about their growth, members of the Scabiosa genus are remarkably tough, establishing themselves quickly in many South African gardens. The indigenous species in particular, Scabiosa Africana and Scabiosa incisa, are great herbaceous perennials for both new and experienced gardeners.



They don’t require much watering or excessive maintenance, are relatively cold-hardy, and bloom prolifically for several months of the year. On top of these wonderful benefits, they also attract a wide range of pollinators to your garden – particularly butterflies and bees.

Found along mountainsides in the Western Cape, indigenous Scabiosa species need sandy, well-draining soil and a full sun position to thrive. They can also handle slight shade but need a good amount of sunlight to bloom prolifically. Pair with other pollinator-friendly perennials, such as Salvia and lavender, for a garden buzzing with activity.



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A version of this article was originally published in the Garden&Home December 2022 printed magazine.

Feature image: Pexels