Small Scabious - Scabiosa columbaria
Short to medium, much branched, hairy plant. Basal leaves oval to lanceolate, unlobed or pinnately lobed, long stalked. Upper leaves 1 to 2 pinnately lobed or pinnate. Flowerheads bluish lilac, 20 to 40 mm, the outer florets slightly longer than the central ones, with dark bristles at the bases. Bracts narrowly lanceolate, shorter than the florets.
Field Scabious and Devil's-bit Scabious
Corolla is 5-lobed (other scabious are 4-lobed); outer flowers longer than inner; stems leaves pinnate and lower leaves can be obovate or pinnatifid or in-between. Nearly always in limestone areas
A photo of whole plant showing leaves as well as flowers
Grassy places on dry calcareous soils.
July and August.
Local, scattered throughout Britain as far north as central Scotland.
Local and quite uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 6 of the 617 tetrads.
In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Native; occasional, but nearly scarce.
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015