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



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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)

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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!


On Aug 13, 2010, eroebroek from calgary, AB (Zone 3b) 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 .


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!


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.