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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Gentianaceae
Centaurium erythraea

Citation: Rafn, Danm. Holst. Fl. 2:75 (1800).

Synonymy: Erythraea centaurium sensu J. Black, Fl. S. Aust. 691 (1957); C. minus sensu H. Eichler, Suppl. 259 (1965). , Centaurium littorale

Common name: Common centaury.

Biennials or annuals up to 35 cm high, usually with one quadrangular main stem but often much branched from a well developed basal rosette; leaves oblong-oblanceolate to obovate sometimes in the basal rosette, or elliptic to lanceolate below the inflorescence, 15-60 x 6-18 mm, gradually decreasing in length from the base upwards, usually obtuse but sometimes acute below the inflorescence.

Flowers: Dec.-March.

Septicidal capsule releasing seeds only at the apex.

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1964), Drawings Brit. Pl. 20:pl. 27.

Distribution:  S.Aust.: NU, FR, EP, SL, KI, SE.   N.S.W.; Vic.   Native in Europe to Caucasia and northern Iran.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: No flowering time is available

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: No text

Taxonomic notes: C. erythraea can usually be distinguished from C. tenuifiorum by its calyx which is half to two-thirds the length of the corolla tube. That is, the corolla tube keeps on elongating after anthesis so that the calyx is ultimately about half the length of the corolla tube in fruiting specimens while it might reach two-thirds in some specimens of C. tenuiflorum. Other characters often used to separate the species pair are the longer corolla lobes and the presence of a distinct basal rosette in C. erythraea but these were found less reliable for S.Aust. plants. Also, specimens from S.Aust. cannot be definitely placed into one of the six subspecies recognised by Melderis (1972), Fl. Europaea 3:58.

Author: Not yet available

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