Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Pincushion Flower, Mourning Bride, Mournful Widow, Sweet Scabious
Scabiosa atropurpurea 'Black Knight'

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Scabiosa (skab-ee-OH-suh) (Info)
Species: atropurpurea (at-ro-pur-PURR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Black Knight

Synonym:Scabiosa maritima

One vendor has this plant for sale.

13 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

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

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2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Kimmi023 On Aug 7, 2012, Kimmi023 from Portland, OR wrote:

This is my first summer with this plant and I'm in love. I have her in a deck box in full sun and it's wonderful to watch the progression of each bloom as it evolves from a tiny, spiky pincushion into a full, soft black poof with white accents. I'll let you know how hardy she is in Portland, Oregon, zone 8b.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 12, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Beloved since the early 1600s in England, when it was called Blackamoor's Beauty and Mournful Widow. The sumptuous dark maroon flowers resemble a dark satin pincushion studded with white-tipped pins. Honey-scented flowers attract bees and butterflies.

Annual; 3 ft tall
Seed to bloom: 16 wks
Color: Maroon
Full sun
Soil: Rich, moist, well-drained, neutral to alkalin pH
Hardiness: HA

Positive northgrass On Jan 27, 2007, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

The very dark and white dotted bloosoms are very attractive, they have a brightness not expected in such a dark flower. The blooms are held high above the foliage. I had planted them in front of the bed, a better way would be in the middle ground, peeking above other lower plants, it would also help to keep them upright. Easy from seeds.


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

Arroyo Grande, California
Citrus Heights, California
Clinton, Connecticut
Lula, Georgia
Southborough, Massachusetts
Mount Vernon, Missouri
Greensboro, North Carolina
Fremont, Ohio
Portland, Oregon
Kalama, Washington

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