Devil's bit scabious 1/2
Devil's bit scabious 2/2

Devil’s-bit Scabious Succisa pratensis

A late summer perennial, with small pincushion like purple blue flowers, that grows in a wide range of moist to free draining habitats including rough grassland, heaths, woodland rides, mires and even cliff edges in the uplands. It can be confused with sheepsbit but this prefers drier conditions like coastal dunes.

Conservation status

It is widespread and locally abundant across Britain but there has been a decline in the population in the South and East of England since 1950 due to the loss of damp meadow habitats and heaths.

Details

Did you know? The flowers attract bees, moths and butterflies to feed, it is also the food plant of the increasingly scarce marsh fritillary butterfly.

The Elizabethan herbalist Culpepper attributed a number of medicinal uses to devils-bit scabious including the supposed cure of scabies.

The roots end abruptly; this is because the devil was supposed to have been jealous about its medicinal properties and tried to get rid of the plant by biting off the roots.
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