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Cephalaria gigantea

Giant scabious

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Flowers, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


photo by Mark Bolton, copyright GAP Photos (12934)

Plant details

Although it needs a large border, the giant scabious always attracts attention with its unusual 5cm (2in) wide, primrose yellow, rosette-like flowers. These tend to weigh down the tips of the wiry stems, giving the plant an informal look that is just right for a cottage garden. The plant also looks good at the back of a big herbaceous border, among large shrubs or trees in a mixed border, or in a light woodland clearing. In a well sheltered location it is self supporting, but in windier gardens it benefits from a tripod of rustic poles or bean poles.

Family: Dipsacaceae

Genus: Cephalaria

Species: gigantea

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Yellow

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 210cm

Spread: 60cm

Time to plant seeds: March to April

Time to divide plants: March to April

Flowering period: June to August

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