Devil's bit scabious is locally common in the Netherlands on sandy soil and peaty soils and in several dune regions. It prefers sunny, damp and nutrient-poor situations, although it can tolerate some dryness. Each head of flowers is one sex. You can usually tell the difference by the size: females are generally smaller. The plant blossoms long into the autumn when other flowers have perished, making it an important source of nectar for insects. It is also an important food plant for several caterpillars, such as the marsh fritillary. Devil's-bit scabious is on the Red List and is declining rapidly. The consequences are already apparent for some insect species. Devil's bit scabious grows in Europe, western Siberia and the Atlas region.