Devil's-bit Scabious - Succisa pratensis


Medium to tall hairy plant, stems erect to ascending. Basal leaves elliptical, often broadest above the middle, generally untoothed. The upper leaves often toothed. Flowers lilac to deep purple blue, very occasionally white in rounded heads 15 to 25 mm across.

Similar Species

Field Scabious and Small Scabious

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Leaves entire or distantly toothed; flower blue-lilac and all the same size (Field Scabious and Small Scabious have outer flowers longer than inner); corolla 4-lobed.

Recording advice

A photo of whole plant in habitat, showing leaves and flowers


Old grassland sometimes in damp places, commons, heaths and marshes.

When to see it

July to October

Life History


UK Status

Fairly frequent and widespread in Britain except for a small area of East Anglia.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent but rather local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 112 of the 617 tetrads.

be our species champion

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map