You are here

Field Scabious

Click the pic!

To aid users of mobile devices as well as those with a mouse or laptop finger pad this site uses a simple image-based menu system. Virtually every picture you see (images and photos) are links to more information arranged in a sort of top-down structure. See an image, click or tap on it to open a new page.

Although called field scabious it is rarely found in fields but more likely to be seen on open grasslands, often on chalk.



Field Scabious: the gypsy rose

Post date: Thursday, 10 November, 2016 - 20:42

If you are familiar with the wild teasel then I think you will understand why I find it hard to believe that field scabious (Knautia arvensis) is a member of the same family! They seem to have nothing in common at all and when you read the characteristics of plants in the dipsacaceae family you will find that the characteristics are in minute details.

The field scabious is an attractive, almost daisy-like, flower. The flower petals are blue but the anthers are pink which can make the flower overall look a little purple in hue. The leaves are pointed and have 'teeth' along the edges. There is a single pair of leaves formed opposite each other on the main stem and from the point where the leaves form the stem then branches into several flower heads. The field guide suggests that it can grow to a metre tall but in my experience a foot to eighteen inches would seem the norm.

Flowering from June through until October the field scabious does not grow in fields as such but is very much a species of chalk grassland. 

Species of scabious were used to treat sores and skin infections and are especially noted as a treatment to ease the symptoms of the bubonic plague. It is also known by its country name, the gypsy rose.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Field Scabious
Scientific Name Knautia arvensis
Family Teasel family - Dipsaceae
Status Frequent
Interest Level
Species Family Teasel Family - Dipsacaceae
Flower Colour Group Purple
  • 07 - July
  • 08 - August
  • 09 - September
Preferred Environment
Look for Attractive bluish purple flowers heads
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

This species is often found in these habitats:

Habitat(s) Relationship
GC: Calcareous Grassland Indicator