One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the teasel family, with pink, white, or (most commonly) blue pincushion-shaped flowers.
Scabiosa, Knautia, and other genera, family Dipsacaceae: several species
- ‘Interesting flora includes purple devil's bit scabious and lilac field scabious, the yellow daisy-like common fleabane and the tall, cream-flowered meadow sweet.’
- ‘I pulled out all those weeds (well, some of them) and the self-seeded scabious which I have more than enough of.’
- ‘There were still flowers in plenty, pink campion, toadflax, small blue scabious, honeysuckle, and six-inch mushrooms, inedible no doubt, but the blackberries were ripe and juicy enough to quench thirst.’
- ‘The biological remains show Silbury I was built on mature chalk grassland containing plants such as salad burnet, small scabious, bird's foot trefoil and meadow buttercup, with very little woodland in the area.’
- ‘Purple gentians and orchids, blue scabious and harebells, orange hawkweeds, and cream and pink yarrow provide a kaleidoscope of colour to enjoy at the end of your walk.’
Affected with mange; scabby.dry, flaky, flaking, peeling, scurfy, rough, scabrous, mangyView synonyms
Late Middle English: based on Latin scabiosus ‘rough, scabby’; the noun is from medieval Latin scabiosa (herba) ‘rough, scabby (plant)’, formerly regarded as a cure for skin disease (see scabies).
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