Answer: Good question! There are both annual and perennial pincushion flowers (Scabiosa). It can be difficult to tell them apart, though. The perennials resemble the annuals, except that the perennials have shorter florets at the center, while in the annual the flowers are made up of florets of more uniform length. Scabiosa caucasica is the most common perennial with flowers either light lilac blue or white. The plants grow 2 feet to 3 feet tall. The leaves are not cut as is the case with the annuals. It blooms from June to September. S. japonica grows 1 1/2 feet tall; the flowers are violet-blue and the leaves are somewhat lobed. S. ochroleuca is a sulphur colored species growing 1 1/2 feet tall.
Hope this answers your question and helps you determine whether your Scabiosa is the annual or the perennial type.
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