Pincushion, Scabiosa atropurpurea, are an easy to grow and dependable burst of color. The rich burgundy color of this variety is so dark it's almost black, topped with lilac sprinkles. Sturdy little flowers on long stems are great for bouquets, and have a cottage garden feel while still having an urban edge.
But these blooms also make an incredible (and incredibly easy) dye. Stick these blooms in a pot of boiling water to make the most glamorous-colored dye, it's a rich silvery-grey color with hints of blue and lavender.
Here's how: put about 20 blooms (trim off the stems) in a big pot of water, and boil for about 10 minutes, until the water changes color. Now turn the heat down low to simmer and drop your cloth in (wool and silk work best, but cotton and linen are fine too) and mix it around occasionally until you reach your desired hue/saturation. Note that the color will look darker when it's wet. That's it! Rinse and wear. You can also do Hapazome dying, where you put a bloom on top of the fabric, and then use a hammer or mallet to smash/bruise it onto the fabric. This causes the dye to transfer onto your fabric.
Planting conditions: Pincushions like full sun, are pretty drought tolerant, and are not picky about soil conditions.
Blooms: Scabiosa bloom from summer through first hard frost, but bloom most heavily in early Summer. Deadhead the blooms regularly (meaning cut the flowers for bouquets, or if the flowers die on the plant cut them off down to where to stem is green right above where it is leafing again) to encourage more blooms.
Perennial: Pincushions are a short lived perennial, they will come back for around three years.
Zone: 3-9. Can be grown in containers. Non-toxic. Good cut flower. Deer Resistant.
Ships: as 3 plants in 2" diameter pots, in the Spring, with detailed instruction for how to plant, care for, and use as a dye.
Flat rate $10 shipping no matter how many plants you buy.
We give your plants plenty of (recyclable) padding so they are cozy and safe during transit. We also monitor weather events and will contact you if unusual weather will impact your order's ship date.
If anything is not right about your plant when you receive it, please let us know and we will make it right.