Field Scabious - Knautia arvensis


    Medium to tall, hairy plant, often stoloniferous, with a basal leaf rosette. Stems usually with purple spots. Leaves pinnately lobed, the lower stalked the upper sometimes undivided. Flowers bluish lilac or mauve.

    Similar Species

    Devil's bit Scabious and Small Scabious

    Identification difficulty
    ID guidance

    Corolla is 4-lobed (Small Scabious is 5-lobed) and the outer flowers are much longer than inner.  Lower leaves simple/crenate; upper leaves pinnate, with intermediates between. 

    Recording advice

    A photograph of the flower and upper/lower leaves


    Meadows and hedgebanks.

    When to see it

    July to September.

    Life History

    Perennial or biennial.

    UK Status

    Fairly frequent throughout Britain.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland though possibly declining. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 62 of the 617 tetrads.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map