Common Centaury

This member of the gentian family blooms between June and September.

Centaurium erythraea (Common Centaury)

It is a low growing annual reaching heights of between 25 and 50 cm.   The stem rises from a rosette formed of basal oval shaped leaves attaining lengths of between 1 – 5 cm.  Grey-green oval shaped leaves appear in opposite pairs along the single stem.  At the top of the stem clusters of small pink (very occasionally white), five-petalled flowers. A single flower is borne at the end of each square stalk but the central bloom, which opens last, is stalk-less.   Like other members of the gentian family these close in the afternoons.

It is found throughout the British Isles on permanent grassland, chalk downland, woodland rides, scrub, verges that are well-drained.

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