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Cephalaria alpina


Syn. Scabiosa alpina

$5.00 AUD

Availability: In stock

Cephalaria alpina
Syn. Scabiosa alpina

Cephalaria alpina is one of those must-have, airy-fairy, see-through plants that are indispensable in the garden for creating that misty soft look.

Fragrant lemon pincushions sway in every breeze 

As fragrant creamy-lemon pincushions wave and sway on 120-180cm stems.
So it gives great height without taking up much ground space.

Must-have, airy-fairy, see-through beauty

It has such an airy, graceful and tall, but whispy substance.
So it can be happily planted amongst smaller growing flowers, roses or smaller shrubs.
Where it gives height, interest and excellent value for a small amount of space and creates a misty veil but does not obscure.
As the dainty pincushions are borne proudly on widely branched stems that weave amongst other plants.
And the soft creamy colour goes with anything.

Lovely cut flowers

Abundant creamy-lemon pincushion blooms make lovely cut flowers for vases indoors, where they last well.

Neat perennial clump

Cephalaria alpina makes a hardy evergreen perennial clump that is very easy to have in the garden.
Because it is a water-wise plant with a deep foraging root system, so it prefers an occasional deep watering rather than frequent smaller watering.
It can therefore withstand some periods of dry once established.
Tough and easy and low maintenance.

Hardy in a wide range of conditions

Plant in Full Sun to ½ Shade where it is hardy in frost and wide range of soils.

Bees adore it but rabbits & deer do not

Bees, butterflies and other useful pollinators are drawn like magnets to the nectar and pollen rich blooms.


Suitable for beginners & gardening with kids

Sow any time from late winter to autumn end.

Sow indoors for quick & early plants: First sow the seed in a punnet on surface of good quality seed raising mix.
Then barely cover the seed to approx. 1.5mm depth with sieved seed mix or fine vermiculite.
Because these seeds need light to germinate.

18-21C best for rapid germination, then seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.

Seeds need light to germinate.

Seed Count: 5 seeds per pack approx. (Seeds of this lovely plant are scarce this year).

GROWING: Cephalaria alpina

Height with flowers: Lemon pincushions on 120cm – 180cm approx. branching, airy stems.
Width: At the base is a neat clump of foliage to a diameter of 40cm – 60cm approx.
Position: Full Sun or Partial to 1/2 Shade.
Because Cepahalaria alpina, Lofty Lemon Pincushion is a very obliging, hardy, easy growing plant.
It also quite enjoys the company of other plants.
So plant amongst other perennials or trees and shrubs, where it can billow up to it’s heart’s content.

Hardy & easy to grow

– Water-wise: Cephalaria alpina is not a particularly thirsty or fussy plant. So normal, average garden watering is ample. It can withstand some periods of dry between drinks.
Soil: Lofty Lemon Pincushion is undemanding. So it will grow happily in a very wide range of soils. From light sandy to heavy clay, and anywhere in between.
But it does thrive with a handful of lime (unless you live on limestone country where it is exceptionally happy).
Frost: Cephalaria alpina is very frost hardy, because it can tolerate frosts to well below -10C.

Low maintenance

Growth: Perennial clump.
Care: Cephalaria alpina is an easy care, low maintenance plant.
So the only real work needed is to cut back the tall flower branches after the long summer blooming. And you cut these right to the ground. So leaving the perennial foliage clump.
Plus a handful of fertilizer and lime in spring, rewards with even more pincushions over summer.
Cephalaria are hardy plants that are also rarely if ever, plagued by pests and diseases.
Although it is such a tall plant, it rarely needs any extra staking. Because it is so airy the wind just passes through the flexible stems.

So nice to have in the garden

– Fragrant: The lemon pincushions have a sweet scent. And it wafts delightfully on the breeze. Flowers also make excellent cut flowers in a vase (so make it a tall one).
Beneficial for wildlife: Bees, and other welcome pollinators, just love the nectar rich pincushions.
Deer & Rabbit resistant: Those pesky blighters usually prefer to eat something else.
Origin: Cephalaria alpina hails from a very wide range of native habitats. And so this accounts for such a hardy and adaptable plant. It can be found in the wild from Italy in the south of it’s territory, to Germany in the north. So it is well adapted to both hot and cold conditions. It prefers stony, limestone hillsides.

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