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Devil's-bit Scabious is a native perennial growing 30-60 cm in height and produces spherical composite clusters of purpley-blue flowers from August to October. The flowers attract a wide range of autumn insects and the vegetative parts of the plants host a diverse range of scarce and threatened species, including the Marsh Fritillary butterfly, a European Protected Species for which the UK has a responsibility for safeguarding.
Grows in a wide range of moist to moderately free-draining habitats, generally avoiding water-logged ground and favouring mildly acidic soils. It is a feature of Rhos pastures, but also occurs in woodland rides, stream sides, road verges, graveyards, wet heath, coastal grasslands and mires. The species benefits from moderate to heavy grazing, especially where there is poaching. The species has very poor powers of dispersal and rarely colonises reseeded pastures.