Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious, Blue Buttons

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Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious, Blue Buttons

£5.50

2 in stock

Potsize – 1L

Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious, Blue Buttons. Good for any damp planting and useful in meadow schemes where a Spring meadow management regime can be applied. The flowers are dusky blue buttons held on stifly branching stems. Particularly effective en masse. Grows on slightly acid to calcareous soils. A wildflower that can holds its own in the border.

The curious common name, Devil’s Bit Scabious has two roots. Scabious derives from the use of the plant to cure skin ailments such as scabies and even those from the bubonic plague, (Scabere is the Latin for scratch). ‘Devil’s Bit’ derives from folk tales of the Devil biting off the short black roots in his anger at the plants medicinal abilities.

Discount of 25p per plant for quantities of 3 or over

Links

Scabious Compared

Botanical Style Photographs (Scabiosa)

Botanical Style Photographs (Succisa / Succisella)

2 in stock

Description

Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious, Blue Buttons.

Good for any damp planting and useful in meadow schemes where a Spring meadow management regime can be applied. The flowers of Succisa pratensis – Devil’s Bit Scabious, are dusky blue buttons held on stifly branching stems. Particularly effective en-masse. Pretty also mingling in with pinks in a mixed perennial drift, like with Astrantia. Grows on slightly acid to calcareous soils.

The curious common name, Devil’s Bit Scabious has two roots. Scabious derives from the use of the plant to cure skin ailments such as scabies and even those from the bubonic plague. Scabere is the Latin for scratch. ‘Devil’s Bit’ derives from folk tales of the Devil biting off the short black roots in his anger at the plants medicinal abilities.

 

Flower structure in Scabious:

I thought I would write a small piece on the intricate flower structure that scabious exhibit with the tight pincushion centre and flamboyant outer petals. Each individual flower head is in fact a compound flower just like the daisies. A tight dome of individual florets makes up the central disc. The flowers making up the central disc florets and those more showy outer ray florets are essentially the same. All are basically trumpet like tubes, its just that the outer ones develop more colour and have much more flamboyant petals. It’s a case of scaling rather than form. Within the disc, the male stamens are held close to the flowers throat whilst the female pistil projects well out. This gives the flower its pincushion form. The often contrasting colours of each flower type and the colours of the stamens and pistil are what make theses flowers so attractive.

The flowers of Cephalaria, Knautia, Succisa and Succisella all follow a similar pattern, each with a decreasing emphasis on the large outer flowers.

Can flowers count ?

If you look closely at the unopened flower you can see that the individual florets arrange themselves in two spirals, one to the right and one to the left. It is a characteristic that shows up better in some  species than others. What is fascinating about these spirals is that the number of spirals each direction will be different and they will be found to be two adjacent numbers on the Fibonacci sequence. (ie 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34 a sequence made up by adding the previous number each time). This is an adaptation that allows the most flowers to fit in a given space with the least gap. Furthermore, it is not the only place you can find the Fibonacci sequence in plants. Plants always have the same number of petals in their flowers. The numbers plants use are those on the Fibonacci sequence – Plants really can count.

Links

Scabious Compared

Botanical Style Photographs (Scabiosa)

Botanical Style Photographs (Succisa / Succisella)

Additional information

Habit

British Native

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