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Knautia (NOT-ee-uh)

Common Name:  Pincushion flower

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to dry

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  5 - 9


Knautia 'Mars Midget'

Knautia Description and Cultural Information

Knautia macedonica, pincushion. 24". This plant is closely related to Scabiosa and has similar flowers and cultural requirements. It has a basal clump of dark green, divided foliage and sends up numerous stems which branch out into several stalks, each one carrying a dark crimson, dense pincushion flower. In northern gardens these plants start blooming in May and stop blooming in November. 'Mars Midget' is a dense blooming selection that grows about 16" high.

How to Grow:  Grow Knautia in any average, ordinary, well-drained soil in full to part sun. Plants become leggy and ragged in rich soil or too much shade and may rot if they get too wet, especially over the winter. If plants do end up getting leggy, shear them back to promote more compact growth. They will often self-sow and can become a nuisance if planted in the wrong spot. They are very long blooming but not recommended for the formal border.

Landscape uses:  Knautia is a wonderful plant for its color, long bloom season, and ease of growing. Use it in the informal, mixed border as an to accent almost any planting. Combine the airy, crimson blooms with white flowers such as shasta daisies or baby's breath, blue or purple flowers such as Veronica, balloon flower (Platycodon), or bellflower (Campanula), silver leaved plants such as Artemisia or Russian sage (Perovskia), orange flowers such as lilies, daylilies, or red hot pokers, or yellow flowers such as Anthemis and Achillea. Because of its tendency to spread rapidly by seed it is not recommended for a formal garden or any location where unwanted seedlings would be a nuisance.

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