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SOLVED: purple scabiosa-like flower, sprawling perennial shrub

Riverside, CA(Zone 9a)

The flowers on this plant look very much like a scabiosa, but the seed heads and leaves are different. The plant forms a 2-3 foot tall sprawling shrub. Leaf margins are entire. Flowers are about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Flowering now (end of March) in southern California.

Thumbnail by fritchie21
Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

Reminds me of Scabiosa columbaria http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/332/ - maybe one of the 'blue' cultivars.

Louisville, KY(Zone 6b)

The seed heads DO like Scabiosa as well as the flowers, I think a view of the leaves might be helpful. I suspect that it is a Scabiosa, but I am unsure of the species. The seed heads resemble those of Scabiosa stellata: http://www.burpee.com/flowers/scabiosa-flowers/scabiosa-starflower-(s.-stellata)-prod000363.html
I don't think that is your species, but I am offering it as an example of the fruiting structure.

Louisville, KY(Zone 6b)

I was going to suggest S. farinose, but your leaves look smoother from what I can see.

Louisville, KY(Zone 6b)

Pterocephalus dumetorum , or another species of that genus might be your plant. They are related to Scabiosas. http://botany.cz/cs/pterocephalus-dumetorum/

Beautiful, BC(Zone 9b)

Looks like a regular Scabiosa with early foliage coming up.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

It's Scabiosa stellata, as has already been said.

Riverside, CA(Zone 9a)

None of the scabiosas suggested have the appropriate leaves. This pic is from a shrub that is several years old-- I've tried to zoom in on the foliage a little more. The leaves are completely smooth with entire margins, unlike all the scabiosa images I've seen. The Pterocephalus dumetorum looks close (probably the right genus), but I don't think it's that particular species. A friend collected the seed in Spain, but I don't know if it's actually native to Spain or not. The leaves are slightly thick (not 'succulent', but heading that direction) and about 2 inches long.

Thumbnail by fritchie21
Calgary, AB(Zone 3b)

Quote from fritchie21 :
None of the scabiosas suggested have the appropriate leaves.


Yes, sorry, wasn't paying close enough attention!

Louisville, KY(Zone 6b)

Pterocephalus lasiospermus is native to Spain. http://www.huismanfoto.eu/Album%20353%20Tenerife%20wilde%20flora%203/slides/P1010166%20Tenerife%20Pterocephalus%20lasiospermus%20030610.html
I am still not positive that is what you have, but I think we might be getting closer.
P. virens looks the closest to me. Not all of the photos I find look identical but some do.
look at http://www.floradecanarias.com/pterocephalus_virens.html

This message was edited Mar 29, 2013 1:44 PM

Riverside, CA(Zone 9a)

The Pterocephalus virens looks spot on. Thanks!

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