Centranthus D C.

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.

Richardson (1975).

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Valerianaceae. In: Spencer, R.. 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.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Dipsacales
family       Valerianaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Centranthus ruber (L.) D C.