Magnify glass

Scabiosa atropurpurea Chile Black


Great at the front of borders or in a pot with things growing through

A wonderful hardy plant which makes an attractive clump of grey-green, deeply textured leaves. The dark maroon, almost black, pincushion-like flowers are great for adding dramatic depth of colour to a border just as summer reaches its peak, and it will keep on going into the autumn.


Best in a sunny position in a bed, border or container. Fabulous in the company of silver-leaved plants. Also good for a cottage and wildlife garden.


Best in a well-drained soil. Cut back the flower spikes as they fade to encourage more flowers well into the autumn.

The origins of this plant can be traced back to the Caucasus, northern Turkey and northern Iran.

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial herbaceous
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Summer
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 50 cm - 60 cm
Plant width 25 cm - 30 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 55 cm
Hardiness zone (?) H4

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Light exposure Full sun
Soil drainage Well drained
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Wildlife garden, Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From April to September