In this month's Product Profile, we're taking a look at the popular 'cottage garden' flower the scabious, which is currently in season.
From the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, the scabious's Latin name Scabiosa derives from the word scabies, which comes from the Latin word 'scabere' meaning 'to scratch'. In medieval times, scabious plants were believed to relieve the itch of scabies and other skin conditions.
There are two main varieties of scabious available at the market: Scabiosa caucasica and Scabiosa atropurpurea.
Scabiosa caucasica has delicate, frilly petals surrounding long, needle-like pistils, which are said to resemble pins sticking into a pincushion. Hence their common name, pincushion flower. Found in white, lilac and violet-blue, they generally comes in bunches of 10 stems and their peak season is May to September. British scabious are currently available at the Flower Market in boxes.
Scabiosa atropurpurea are button-like flowers with pink, burgundy, deep red or lilac petals and contrasting white stamens. They're sometimes referred to as cottage scabious by the traders. Varieties have wonderful names such as Blackberry Scoop, Raspberry Scoop, Candy Scoop and Marshmallow Scoop! Their peak season is usually April/May to September.
With informal, 'garden-gathered' floral designs being so on-trend at moment, scabious are the perfect bloom to use in hand-tieds, especially when mixed with other summer flowers.
And, for a bride-to-be with her heart set on an 'English country garden' look, scabious with their wistful, romantic ruffled petals and soft pastel shades are the ideal choice for bridal bouquets, tablecentres, chair backs and pew ends.
And let's not forget the intricate scabious seed heads, which are wonderful for adding textural interest to designs.
Here are some examples of beautiful arrangements featuring scabious...
(Source: By Appointment Only Design)
(Source: Scarlet & Violet)
(Source: Tony Marklew)
(Source: Jay Archer)
(Source: Rebel Rebel)
(Source: Wild at Heart)
(Source: SuperNature Flowers)
(Source: Catherine Muller London)
(Source: Zita Elze)
We'd love to see photos of arrangements that you've made using scabious from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, stating your company name and website address. Or if you prefer, you could post your photo on Twitter and copy us in, by including @MarketFlowers in your tweet.
We'll then upload your photos into this section. I hope you've enjoyed reading this month's Product Profile. Please do ask away below if you have any questions or would like to make any general comments. As always, we'd love to hear from you...
P.S. Have you noticed that some of the traders have started using Instagram Stories, including DG Wholesale Flowers and Zest Flowers? You'll also find us at Market Flowers sharing photos and videos of the Flower Market.