When Thomas Jefferson requested roots and bulbs of the "Mourning bride" from his neighbor, Isaac Coles, in 1811, he may have been referring to the Pincushion Flower. Also known as Mourning Bride because of its association with grieving widows in 18th-century England, this long-blooming annual boasts velvet-like flowers all summer in mixed shades of purple, blue, white, and red, and makes a good cut flower. Jefferson-documented: This plant was documented by Thomas Jefferson in his Garden Book, Notes on the State of Virginia, or other writings.
Native Distribution: The Mediterranean
Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost at 65 degrees F. Transplant to 3" pots once they have several true leaves, then harden off and plant outdoors after the last frost. Approximately 25-30 Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea) seeds per packet.
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