Knautia Species, Scabiosa

Knautia macedonica

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Knautia (NAW-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: macedonica (mas-eh-DON-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Scabiosa lyrophylla
Synonym:Scabiosa macedonica
Synonym:Trichera macedonica



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Richmond, California

Denver, Colorado(2 reports)

Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut

Priest River, Idaho

Oak Park, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

South Bend, Indiana

Hebron, Kentucky

West Monroe, Louisiana

Skowhegan, Maine

Pikesville, Maryland

Hinsdale, Massachusetts

Constantine, Michigan

Lake Orion, Michigan

Novi, Michigan

West Olive, Michigan

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Dillon, Montana

Sparks, Nevada

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hilton, New York

Lake Placid, New York

West Kill, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio(2 reports)

Coshocton, Ohio

Tiffin, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Ambler, Pennsylvania

Greeley, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

New Freedom, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Clinton, Washington

Everett, Washington

Freeland, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Morgantown, West Virginia

Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Appleton, Wisconsin

Casper, Wyoming

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


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

Just great. Foliage is evergreen in my zone 8. Color of the flowers is beautiful and bees cling to them. Sown last year and plants are now 1.2 tot 1.5 meter with hundreds of flowers. And oh yes, it's floppy. At least on my clayground. So much buds, so the plants get topheavy. Even in full sun. You can easily stake it, but I don't mind the informal look of it.


On Jul 11, 2011, EyeGarden from Oak Park, IL wrote:

Great plant, lovely flowers, gets compliments galore.

I've had this plant in the same place for years here in Oak Park, IL. My main plant gets full sun, but I clustered a few if its volunteers in a part sun place and they seem to like it.

For those who complain about the FLOPPINESS: This year I simply staked a few of the central stems loosely to a single, short stake right in the middle of the plant. Now, with it's gazillion blossoms and zig-zag stemlet effect, you don't notice the stake at all. I was thinking of dividing the plant (which really consists of several plants clustered together), but this method seems to work well.


On Jun 23, 2010, aileen246 from Priest River, ID wrote:

This is the first year this plant has bloomed. I grew Knautia Melton pastels from seed last year and had never seen or heard of the plant before. It grows on the south side of the house, under a window where I can see it. At first the jury was out, as it seems leggy and spindly. But it attracts bees and butterflies enmasse. The honeybees and smaller bees are successful in their gathering, but sometime a bumblebee will be on a bloom, and if it is in it's second day of bloom, the petals and bee will fall. The blooms do not last long in the house,usually falling apart the second day. But it is worthwhile , just for the entertainment value.


On Apr 23, 2010, knautiamom from South Bend, IN wrote:

this is such a great plant in my garden that I took its name as my signin on several accounts. It blooms in my zone 5 ( Northern Indiana) from late April to November and can tolerate shade. It attracts butterflies and comments from people when it's in bloom. A very nice durable plant, that, good or bad, likes to reseed freely. The starts can be easily transplanted.


On Dec 15, 2007, RichHurley from Hanover, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I started this plant from seed 6-7 years ago and it has been part of my garden ever since. It's nice to add to a vase of flowers and people who see it are always asking what it is. The color is a nice dark burgundy and it has self-seeded readily (profusely!). I need to get back to just a few plants so I'm going to be digging up and disposing of dozens this coming Spring.


On Dec 6, 2007, LeBug from Greenville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I am so looking forward to this plant in my garden for next year, I grew about 8 plants from seed the winter of o6 and they stayed in a pot all year and the next winter, I planted three this spring and just fell in love with them the flowers they look like sugar is sprinkled on top of it, so lovely, it grows well in a pot from my experience, this will be the third year for it I hope it gets as big as everyone says it does!


On Jun 13, 2007, davidthomas from Hinsdale, MA (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant has caused some marital strife at our home. David likes it very much because it attracks lots and lots of butterflies. Sally dislikes it's spindly flopping, especially the center of the group. It comes back every year in great abundance. Peace is maintained by limiting the amout left standing each May.


On Jun 2, 2007, garbanzito from Denver, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

has been happy in dry cottage-garden conditions and reseeded non-aggressively; one of the offspring has beautiful light purple flowers like a scabiosa, but there are no scabiosa or other likely hybrid partners, and the form is exactly the same as the crimson-flowered parent; EDIT: that was 2007, now in 2010, having preferentially saved the seed of the light purple variety, my colony has grown and is about 50/50 deep red-purple and light purple-pink; i like this mix as the normal color can be too intense; it's a bit of an aggressive reseeder and is starting to require culling; also, since i keep it fairly dry, it doesn't flop here the ways some describe


On Dec 1, 2006, jenireed from Appleton, WI wrote:

I have had this plant for 3 years now, and it is one of the longest latest bloomers I have. It blooms right up until the snow starts to fall. Everyone who goes through my garden always remarks about it's striking dark red flowers. It does like to spread, but I have given it lots of room. I liked it so much that I am trying to "Mars Midget" variety in another bed.


On Jun 23, 2005, TurtleKreek from Halifax,
Canada (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have had Knautia macedonica in my garden since 1998. The first year the original plant grew to over 7 feet. I moved it to the back of the garden where there was more shade and now it only grows to about 5 feet. It is ALWAYS upright and loaded with flowers. It readily self seeds and the seedlings are easily uprooted and planted elsewhere. I still have the orginal plant plus many more of its babies. My neighbour now has a plant that grows in complete shade and while it doesn't get as tall or bushy it is still loaded with flowers. We are in Halifax which is considered zone 5b but, I do have some zone six plants that survive if I protect them over the winters. This year I bought a new plant because the tag claims it is a light pink! ~Time will tell!


On Apr 24, 2005, Begete from Ambler, PA wrote:

This is a very pretty flower. I planted 3 of these last year and they are back. Near them are some new growths that I am not sure are volunteers of the knautia or weeds.

So far, unlike the knautia that has both smooth and serrated (dandelion-like leaves), these have so far only the smooth leaves. I noted in other comments that people have not had success growing these from seed, so it seems unlikely that there would be volunteers.


On Mar 24, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This plant is floppy, but it's also a great weaver. It tolerates dryish shade and clay soil.


On Jan 20, 2005, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

My knautia only survived a couple of winters in my garden on the cusp between zones 4 and 5. It was in bright sun, but quite exposed to wind and cold in the winter. However, I did like it while it lasted. The foliage has a crude appeal and the flowers were prolific. I had it surrounding a gazing ball and they made a nice pairing, with the large, bright, heavily incised foliage reflected in a mirrored globe.


On Jan 17, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

Knautia blooms from late spring to fall, and it makes a great filler in the garden. The dark purplish-red flowers seem to go with anything, but they are especially nice in a wildflower setting with ornamental grasses. It self-sows prolifically, filling in spaces around other plants.


On Feb 8, 2004, Karrie20x from Spokane, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I really like this plant because it has a very long bloom time. The flowers are pretty and dainty. It also can get very big in width, so it is a good place to put in a garden that needs filling.


On Jul 1, 2003, uncledrcmg from South Haven, MN wrote:

I am in the northern extremes of zone 4 and this plant has overwintered twice. We had a bad winter for perennials this past winter and this plant survived when other plants did not. The four plants were purchased in 4" pots. They grew so well that they needed to be separated this year. Despite this, they are now blooming. We are growing them in partial shade, alkaline, sandy well drained soil.


On May 21, 2003, CanadaGoose from Oakville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have grown a number of knautia from seed, but have not beens satisfied with the results. The plant has a very untidy habit and a tendency to flop in all directions. After experimenting with them in various situations, I have now disposed of my plants.