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Common Name(s): Common Centaury
Scientific Name: Centaurium erythraea
Centaurium erythraea, more commonly known as Common Centaury, is an erect biennial herb which reaches half a meter in height. It grows from a small basal rosette and bolts a leafy, erect stem which may branch. The triangular leaves are arranged oppositely on the stem and the erect inflorescences emerge from the stem and grow parallel to it, sometimes tangling with the foliage. Each inflorescence may contain many flowers. The petite flower is pinkish-lavender and about a centimeter across, flat-faced with yellow anthers. The fruit is a cylindrical capsule. This lovely and very common wildflower is a member of the Gentian family. It is common on the coast in England, Ireland and Wales and inhabits sand dunes and verges. Further inland it grows in dry, sandy soils and on chalk downland. It flowers from June until September.
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