Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis)

Download 124K pdf file ("field_scabious.pdf")PDF
     Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
  Return to the Weed Information Home Page
A perennial that develops a deep tap root and grows up to 1.5 m tall. Stems are erect, hairy and sparsely branched. There can be one or several stems per plant, with little or no branching in the upper stem. Leaves are hairy and the degree of the lobes is highly variable. Lower rosettes leaves tend to be lance-shaped, have pointed tips, and the margins can be entire or coarsely toothed. Stem leaves are opposite, pinnate (deeply lobed) and attached directly to the stem. Lower leaves grow to 25 cm long but become smaller higher on the plant. Flowers are a composite of small, violet-blue to purple florets clustered into a head resembling a single flower up to 4 cm wide, and occur singly at the ends of stems. Below the flower head is a ring of narrow green bracts. Once flowering is complete the seed head is domed and covered with short, bristly hairs. The fruit is nut like, cylindrical and hairy, 5-6mm in size.

Key Identifiers
  • Upper leaves pinnately lobed and opposite
  • Entire plant covered in short, stiff hairs
  • Pink-blue flowers in dense heads
Location in Canada
Field Scabious has been reported in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Resources Similar species
Field Scaboius is not likely to be confused with other plants. There are similar looking plants from different genus’ in ornamental situations, Butterfly plant or Pincushion flower (Scabiosa) for example. They are not likely to be as invasive as Field Scabious.

Other Documents in the Series

  Black Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)
Blueweed (Echium vulgare)
Broad-leaved Pepper-Grass (Lepidium latifolium)
Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Dalmation Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)
Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) - Current Document
Globe-podded Hoary Cress (Lepidium appelianum)
Great Burdock (Arctium lappa)
Heart-podded Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba)
Hound's tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)
Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)
Lens-podded Hoary Cress (Lepidium chalepense)
Lesser Burdock (Arctium minus)
Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
Scentless Chamomile (Tripleurospermum indorum)
Tall Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
White Cockle (Silene latifolia ssp. alba)
Woolly Burdock (Arctium tomentosum)
Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)
Share via
For more information about the content of this document, contact Chris Neeser.
This document is maintained by Shelley Barkley.
This information published to the web on March 23, 2012.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 21, 2018.