from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or relating to scabies.
  • adj. Having scabs.
  • n. Any of various plants of the genus Scabiosa, especially S. atropurpurea, having opposite leaves and variously colored flower heads that are subtended by an involucre. Also called scabiosa.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. having scabs
  • adj. of or pertaining to scabies
  • n. any of various herbaceous plants of the genus Scabiosa.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Consisting of scabs; rough; itchy; leprous.
  • n. Any plant of the genus Scabiosa, several of the species of which are common in Europe. They resemble the Compositæ, and have similar heads of flowers, but the anthers are not connected.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Consisting of scabs; scabby; scurfy; itchy.
  • n. A plant of the genus Scabiosa; the pincushion-flower.
  • n. In America, sometimes, the daisy-fieabane, Erigeron annuus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of various plants of the genus Scabiosa


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin scabiōsus, mangy; see scabiosa.
Middle English scabiose, from Medieval Latin (herba) scabiōsa, (herb) for scabies, scabious; see scabiosa.


  • The field scabious is a multipetaled blue – sometimes purple – ball of a flower.

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  • There are 12 wild flower species in the ordinary playing field but in its first year the haven was home to 107 species, including scabious, white campion and bird's foot trefoil.

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  • Another species, devil's-bit scabious, has evolved to germinate only in spring after a long period of winter chilling.

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  • One of the species worked on this year is the devil's-bit scabious, a medicinal plant native to the UK.

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  • Wet-kneed, we walked by pastures filled with the white froth of meadowsweet and river-bank flora of lady's bedstraw, betony, devil's bit scabious, greater burnet and eyebright, kneeling several times to store memories of the scent of the last of the fragrant orchids.

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  • The thistles, knapweeds and willowherbs are truer purple, but the bluish nettle-leaved bellflowers and field scabious are also tinged with that mysterious shadow which has more to do with night than golden day.

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  • Mauve scabious and darker purple knapweed wave their heads in the aftermath of a summer thunderstorm.

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  • As we walked through dense patches of devil's bit scabious, scores of peacock butterflies – sometimes two to a flower head – rose and fluttered around us.

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  • The Scotch argus butterflies were flitting over the bog myrtle, ling and devil's-bit scabious.

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  • Some of the butterflies were seeking nectar from the purple-blue scabious flowers that lined the path.

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