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Devil’s-bit scabious

(Succisa pratensis)

Devil's-bit scabious © Laurie Campbell

Devil's-bit scabious © Laurie Campbell


A tall plant with rounded purple-blue flowers that look like a pin cushion.

Devil's-bit scabious is related to the teasel and prefers to grow in damp areas. It is popular with bees, moths and butterflies, especially the vulnerable marsh fritillary.

Distribution

Widespread throughout the UK.

Habitat

Grasslands, hedgerows, mountain slopes.

Best time to see

Flowers from June to September.

Did you know...

The name 'scabious' derives from 'scabies' - one of the many ailments that flowers bearing this name were supposed to help cure.

According to one legend, the Devil grew angry about these medicinal properties and tried to get rid of them by biting the roots off. Hence why this wildflower has short and stubby roots and why it is called 'Devil's-bit' scabious.

More meadow wild flowers: