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Lindsay's Flora Blog - 22nd June

Posted: Monday 22nd June 2020 by trustadmin

Common Centaury Centaurium erythraea

This eye-catching native plant is now coming into flower all over the island in coastal turf and heathland and where it is growing in any quantity it forms a brilliant pink carpet. It is easily recognisable with its clear pink five-petalled flowers in upright densely packed clusters, each with golden-yellow anthers which twist as the flower begins fruiting.

Common Centaury is in the Gentian family and like other members of the family flowers tend to close during the afternoon and in overcast conditions. It has a relatively long flowering period, from June to September, and was apparently used by traditional herbalists to control fevers – another name for this plant is Feverwort.

Its name is said to come from the centaur Chiron who, according to legend, discovered its healing powers and cured himself from the effects of a poisoned arrow.


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