It’s perhaps a little unfair that a ‘scabious pod’ sounds like something out of an old David Cronenberg film, responsible for some grotesque, body-horror-inducing outbreak. Unfair because it’s actually one of the most strikingly beautiful additions to bouquets at this time of year. It’s the spherical cluster of flowers that make up its inflorescence that really do it for us - somehow dense and delicate all at the same time.
Maybe we should have led with its more common name, the starflower pincushion, which is much more appealing than scabious pod obviously - there’s only gonna be one winner though when given the choice between namedropping one of the greatest filmmakers in modern cinema or something that sounds like a character from My Little Pony (or something, I dunno).
Scabious pods are members of the honeysuckle family, known for their sweetly fragrant flowers that prove irresistible to hummingbirds. Their fragrance is also supposed to ward off evil spirits from your garden (though quite why evil spirits would want to hang around your garden specifically is never quite clear in the writings of all those flower-meaning obsessive Victorians). They symbolise straightforward happiness which again makes me want to reach for my Criterion edition DVD of The Fly thanks to its bland niceness… Until I remember that, to paraphrase Hemingway, ‘all the symbolism people say is shit’ when you actually take a moment to look at its eye-catching, inflorescent blooms and realise the scabious pod is anything but bland.