Scabious, Field

Information on Field Scabious

Common Name: Field Scabious
Scientific Name: Knautia arvensis
Irish Name: Cab an ghasáin
Family Group: Dipsacaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Field Scabious is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.

This is a very attractive wildflower which is commonly found in dry grassy places throughout the country, blooming from July to late September.  It is a tall perennial which has pretty, flattish heads of blue-lilac flowers (30-40mm) which are borne on branched, wiry, purple-spotted stems. The outer flowers are larger than the inner ones and the stamens add to the beauty of the plant by standing upright, making the flower look like a blue pin-cushion. The lower leaves are pinnately lobed, the upper being smaller and less divided.  This is a native plant belonging to the family Dipsacaceae. 

I first recorded this plant at Killiney, Co Dublin in 1976 and photographed it at Killoughter, Co Wicklow in 2004. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre


The green elm with the one great bough of gold
Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one, 
The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white,
Harebell and scabious and tormentil,
That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun,
Bow down to; and the wind travels too light
To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern;
The gossamers wander at their own will.

Edward Thomas (1878-1917) 

Scabious, Field
Scabious, Field
Scabious, Field