Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Giant Scabious, Yellow Scabious
Cephalaria gigantea

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cephalaria (sef-uh-LARE-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: gigantea (jy-GAN-tee-uh) (Info)

Synonym:Scabiosa gigantea
Synonym:Cephalaria tatarica
Synonym:Cephalaria caucasica

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Jolanda40 On Jul 7, 2013, Jolanda40 from Amsterdam
Netherlands wrote:

This is great perennial for the back of your border. It's getting very tall, 2.5 meter, showstopper for people passing by and the bees love them. Flowers have a delicate light yellow/greenish color. Perfect for a a more informal garden. I raised them from seed. This wasn't easy, you'll need absolutely fresh seeds en they need stratification (a cold period). I used the wintersowing technique and got 6 seedlings. This year I can harvest my own seeds!
Pictures are from seeds sown two years ago. One of my favourites in my garden!

Positive eroebroek On Aug 13, 2010, eroebroek wrote:

Grows as border in the Reader Rock garden in Calgary zone 3
Plants are 8 feet tall in mid August and a half dozen or so of them in a mass planting create a "flowered hedge " 5 feet wide by 20 feet long growing in full sun . Quite a spectacular plant . If I had grounds rather than just a garden I would certainly grow this one .

Positive SW_gardener On Jun 16, 2009, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

Yellow Cephalaria is a strong grower thriving in poor soils. Too rich a soil and/or too much water will cause rotting of the flower stems. Self seeds nicely and not invasive. Leave the dried flower stalks on the plant for winter interest.

added July 17 2009: Since this has started blooming I've noticed it's very attractive to bumble bee's! Theres seems to be one buzzing around it every time I look! Even now I just saw one and it's almost 8pm on a cloudy day!

Positive Dacooolest On Jul 6, 2005, Dacooolest from Brandon, MB (Zone 2b) wrote:

An amazing plant!!! It has survived our harsh -45 degree winter, only to come back in the spring, reaching up to 9 feet! The blooms on my plant are yellow, unlike some of the pictures.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Concord, California
Richmond, California
Bow, New Hampshire
Yachats, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Kalama, Washington
Twin Lakes, Wisconsin (2 reports)

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