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Common Name: Field Scabious
Knautia arvensis is a perennial plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It has uses.
Europe, including Britain, north to latitude 69°, east to the Caucasus and W. Siberia.
Meadows, pastures, hedgebanks and grassy hills, usually on dry soils and especially on limestone[
Succeeds in any well-drained soil[
]. Prefers a dry soil[
]. Grows well on chalky soils[
]. Prefers a sunny position[
A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to at least -25°c[
The plant has a deeply penetrating taproot, with lateral roots at some depth[
A polymorphic plant, varying especially in the shape of its leaves[
Grows well in the summer meadow[
]. The plant is an important source of nectar and pollen for bees and lepidoptera[
The plants are sometimes dioecious, if this is the case then male and female plants will need to be grown if seed is required.
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
If you have enough seed it would be worthwhile trying a sowing in situ outdoors in the spring. The seed germinates in the spring in the wild.
Division in the spring.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 10 - 15cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.