The lavender-mauve Scabious arrived from the Caucasus in the early nineteenth century. Scabious plants are a useful addition to the border for their unusual colour and long flowering period (June to October), and because they attract butterflies and moths to their nectar-rich blooms.
The name of this pretty flower derives from that not-so-pretty itchy rash Scabies which its wild relative Knautia arvensis was said to cure. Its common name of the Pincushion Flower derives from its centre that looks just like a mass of pins stuck into an old-fashioned pin cushion. Scabious is a good cutting flower that is long lasting in water and not so bad mannered as to drop its petals on a table or window sill.
Freesias are one of our best-loved scented flowers. They derive from South Africa and are named after a German physician, Friedrich Freese (1795-1876). They are grown from a corm and are perennials, but realistically are more likely to be annuals. Their aromatic compounds are volatile, so their scent is stronger at higher temperatures and that of the red or yellow freesia is stronger than the scent of lilac or white freesias. The extracted oils are used in a wide range of cosmetic products.
FV013 Scabious and Freesias