Richard Jefferson
British Wildlife 33.4 February 2022

Field Scabious or Gipsy Rose – an ‘insect plant’ par excellence

Often seen in well-drained, calcareous grassy habitats, such as limestone grasslands or even road verges, the Field Scabious is a familiar and beautiful plant that supports a large number of insect species. Richard Jefferson explores the biology, ecological importance and status of the Field Scabious, and the insects that are associated with it.

In summer, many grassy waysides in lowland Britain are graced by the beautiful bluish-lilac flowers of Field Scabious Knautia arvensis. Many commentators have remarked on the attrac­tiveness and vibrancy of the distinctive pincushion-like lilac flowers, which add a late-summer splash of colour to meadows and verges.

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