Friday, April 17, 2009

Pretty picture: Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'


Another perennial flower I don't know much about. The color doesn't do much for me, but it's fairly complicated, which makes it sort of interesting. Not a big fan of the botanical name: anything that begins with "scabby" (even if you pronounce it with a long A) isn't going to sound all that beautiful. Scabirenia, Scabiella, Scabionia, Scabianthus, Scabidendron -- the only one of those that even comes close to sounding pretty is Scabiella, and even that sounds more like some kind of latex-clad comic book super-villainess ("Madame Scabiella! The test monkeys have escaped into the city!" "Quickly, Clot Girl! To the Scabmobile!") than a pretty flower.

Not that the names should have to all sound pretty, I guess. But it seems like we could save the ugly-sounding names for the stuff we don't like, and I'm assuming that there are people out there who like Scabiosa. This is one situation where I won't mind people using the common name ("pincushion flower") instead.


3 comments:

GardenJoy4Me said...

I wonder who sits around all day thinking up these names ? If they come up with names like this , it has to make yo wonder what "they" are like ? LOL
I prefer "Pincushion" too .. and I'm neutral about this one .. I have a mini type in my garden and so far .. well .. it is still there ? : )

arythrina said...

I put some of these in my garden last spring. They bloomed their heads off all summer long and even through the fall. It was ridiculous how long they were in bloom even in their first year! But... about half didn't return after this winter. Maybe I should just plant more?
The flower is also a good one for bees.

Nancy in Sun Lakes AZ said...

I love scabiosa or pincushion flower. My mother loved this perennial too and here are some of the reasons I always have it in the garden. It is blue (how many flowers are there that come in this beautiful blue color?), delicate and has long enough stems for cutting. It lasts in an arrangement for many days. It is very easy to grow here in the desert, as long as you keep it watered all year around. It actually flowers most of the year here. I am from upstate NY originally and, even there in the snow belt, it comes back each spring especially if you protect it with mulch for the winter.
Now, can you ask anything more of a plant--no matter what the name is?