Knautia macedonica

Knautia macedonica: The Brilliant Macedonian Scabious

Knautia macedonica, also known as Scabiosa Rumelica, Crimson Scabious, or Macedonian Scabious, belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family of plants. This herbaceous perennial is native to Central Europe and has gained popularity for its striking flowers and ease of cultivation. Let’s delve into the details of this captivating plant.

Origin and Background

Knautia macedonica finds its roots in Central Europe. Its scientific name is derived from Christian Knaut, a renowned German botanist who lived from 1656 to 1716. This perennial species has several common names that reflect its distinct features and geographic associations.

Characteristics and Description

Knautia macedonica is a herbaceous perennial that can reach a height of up to 90cm or 3ft. Its growth habit is easy to manage, making it a favorite among gardeners. The plant features pinnately lobed basal leaves, which add texture to its overall appearance.

The flowers of Knautia macedonica are truly captivating. They display a vivid crimson color and have a unique pincushion-like shape. Delicately held on slender stems, these blooms create a vibrant spectacle. The flowering season occurs during the summer, adding a burst of color to the garden. To encourage prolonged flowering, it is advisable to deadhead spent flowers.

How to grow Knautia macedonica:

To cultivate Knautia macedonica successfully, consider the following guidelines:

Sunlight: Knautia macedonica thrives in full sun to partial shade. Provide it with ample sunlight to ensure optimal growth and blooming.

Watering: Water the plant regularly, particularly during hot and dry weather. It is essential to maintain consistent moisture levels, but avoid overwatering. Allow the soil to slightly dry out between waterings to prevent waterlogging.

Soil: Knautia macedonica is not particularly fussy about soil type, but it prefers well-drained soil. Moderately fertile, moist soil is ideal for its growth. Additionally, it tends to thrive in slightly alkaline soil conditions.

Pests and Diseases: Fortunately, Knautia macedonica is not susceptible to any major pests or diseases. However, be cautious of powdery mildew, which may occur if the leaves remain excessively wet. In such cases, it is recommended to treat the plant with a suitable fungicide.


Knautia macedonica can be propagated through various methods:

Seed: Sow the seeds indoors during winter and transplant the seedlings outdoors in spring.

Cuttings: Take softwood cuttings during the spring or summer months. Root the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix.

Division: Divide mature plants in either spring or fall to propagate new specimens.

Additional Tips:

  • Deadhead spent flowers regularly to stimulate continuous blooming and maintain a neat appearance.
  • Prune the plant in the fall, cutting it back to approximately 6 inches tall. This will safeguard it from cold weather and potential pest damage.
  • Knautia macedonica is generally disease-free, allowing for hassle-free cultivation. However, keep an eye out for aphids, which may occasionally appear.
  • This plant has excellent wildlife appeal, attracting bees, birds, and butterflies to your garden. Additionally, it is known to be deer-resistant.

By adhering to these cultivation recommendations, you can enjoy the vibrant allure of Knautia macedonica, the Macedonian Scabious. With its dazzling crimson flowers and adaptable nature, this perennial adds a touch of charm to any garden or landscape.

Knautia macedonica
Deep-crimson colored flowers of Knautia macedonica at Kew Garden, London, UK
Knautia macedonica
Knautia macedonica

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