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Devil’s bit scabious

Succisa pratensis
Flowers June-Oct. Large violet-blue flower heads
Soil moisture tolerances: 
It is found on sites with less than 10 weeks dry soil per year and less than 10 weeks wet soil per year.
Soil fertility tolerances: 
It tends to favour sites with a low soil fertility (<10 mg P/kg, or P index 0-1)
Traditional medicinal use: 
It was used to treat scabies and other skin conditions and was apparently so effective that the Devil, in anger, bit off its root, which ends in an abrupt stub ('succisa' means 'cut off underneath'). It provides an important late season nectar source as it flowers into October.
Further information: 

Click here for a link to the online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora with details of the plant ecology, distribution, photos and habitats: https://www.brc.ac.uk/plantatlas/index.php?q=plant/succisa-pratensis

Click here for a link to the biological flora; a summary of all that is known about the ecological requirements of the plant, published in the Journal of Ecology: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2257031

Pdf from ‘Save our Magnificent Meadows’: http://www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk/assets/pdfs/Devils-bit_scabious.pdf

Link to information from the Natural History Museum:

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/our-science/data/uk-species/species/succisa_pratensis.html

Link to Plantlife:

http://plantlife.love-wildflowers.org.uk/wildflower_garden/grow_in_the_garden/devils-bit_scabious