GIANT SCABIOUS

Cephalaria gigantea

Teasel Family [Dipsacaceae]

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8aug month8sep month8sept

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8cream
flower
flower8yellow
morph
morph8actino
morph
morph8hemizygo
petals
petalsZMany
petals
petalsZ4
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round

17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A perennial which grows to 2m, much taller than any other Scabious.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Has a pale-yellow flower atop each long stalk.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Fowers about 40 - 100mm across, much larger than any other Scabious.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Like Field Scabious has florets with long petals around the periphery and numerous much smaller florets in the centre, but it does not belong to the Daisy Family (Asteraceaee).


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Here central florets yet to open. The ones further out have opened and are displaying their stamens with large anthers.


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The florets all have four petals.


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The anthers are attached to the stamen like handles on wine-bottle openers. Anthers often twisted and with a rectangular cross-section.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The bracts at the back of the flower are chocolate-brown with long hairs. The stems have short hairs.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Petals falling off, turning to fruit.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The developing fruit has triangular dark-brown bracts all over like a pin-cushion.


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Fruits more developed.


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The fruits have grown almost as long as the interspersing triangular bracts.


6th June July 2016, a garden, Warton, Carnforth.. Photo: © RWD
An as-yet un-opened flower bud, sepal bracts showing just around the periphery, interstitial bracts separating the florets.


1st July 2014, a garden, Pawich, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
An as-yet un-opened flower bud a month later in the season, sepal bracts showing just around the periphery, interstitial bracts separating the florets. The petals (pale green at first) are just starting to emerge from between the outer bracts.


17th June 2014, a garden, Warton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are 1-pinnate, with long lanceolate leaflets, in opposite pairs, the leaflets having fine teeth.


Cannot be mistaken for : any other Scabious because of its tall 2m height and large pale-yellow flowers.

Some similarities to : Small Teasel (Dipsacus pilosus) but that is shorter at 1.5m and has white flowers with long thin and narrow bracts which are yellow-green. the leaves are also very different.

Slight resemblance to : Yellow Teasel (Dipsacus strigosus) which also has yellow florets but they are interspersed by long thin narrow bracts which are green.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

A garden plant that also sometimes escapes into the wild from where it may escape and persist in scattered places on waste ground or on rough grassy places, although your Author has never seen it growing wild.

There is a shorter Cephalarea called Syrian Scabious which is commonly grown in gardens, Cephalaria syriaca but at only 1m that is half the height and has blue flowers. This can also escape.

Although its common name is a Scabious, all those belong to differing genera, although they all reside in the Teasel Family (Dipsacaceae)

Note that Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria), Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis), Devil's-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis) and Giant Scabious (Cephalaria gigantea) all belong in differing genera (although all four reside in the same Dipsaacaceae family).

A SIMPLE ALKALOID

Giant Scabious contains a simple alkaloid called Gentianadine, which is also found in Gentiana turkestanorum, a non-native Gentian. Gentianidine is a pyridine moiety (on the right) fused to an Oxan-2-one moiety (left). It is a lactone.

It also contains eight cytotoxic triterpenoid saponins of the Oleanane type known as Giganteosides, being Giganteoside A-E and Giganteoside L, M and N.

These should not be confused with a double glycoside of Quercetin called Gigantoside A, which was found in Giant Scabious in 2006, along with Luteolin, Quercetin plus Cinaroside, and Quercimeritrin, the latter two being single glycosides of Flavonols.


  Cephalaria gigantea  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Dipsacaceae  

Distribution
 family8Teasel family8Dipsacaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Cephalaria
Cephalaria
(Giant Scabious)

GIANT SCABIOUS

Cephalaria gigantea

Teasel Family [Dipsacaceae]