Greek kentron — spur, anthos — flower, referring to the spurred corolla.
Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves simple, opposite, entire or divided, stalked, stem-clasping. Flower clusters flat-topped or elongate. Flowers stalkless. Calyx with 10-23 feathery lobes. Corolla with a long, narrow tube having 5 lobes, 1 generally larger than the others and spurred. Stamens 1. Fruit a dry achene.
Two rarer species are occasionally offered: C. angustifolius (Mill.) DC. from S Europe, a perennial with fragrant pink flowers and mostly linear leaves; and C. macrosiphon Boiss., native to S Spain, occasionally grown as a spring-flowering annual to 40 cm tall with upper leaves ovate, toothed or lobed. The pink, white or red flowers have the characteristic single stamen and a small basal spur. It is naturalised in SA and WA.
Seed or occasionally softwood cuttings.
Flowers spurred; stamens 1.
10 species from Europe and the Mediterranean.
Source: (2002). Valerianaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.