Centaurium erythraea


Common Centaury is a low-growing biennial which is found on sand dunes, heaths, woodland rides, quarries and other dry, grassy areas. It is in bloom between June and September and, like other members of the gentian family, its pink flowers close during the afternoon.

How to identify

Common Centaury has small, pink, five-petalled flowers held in clusters at the top of the stems. It has a rosette of oval leaves at the base of the stem, and oval leaves appear in opposite pairs up the stem as well.

Where to find it

Widespread and common across the UK, although rarer in Scotland.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many nature reserves for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife, including many different species of plants. But these precious sites are under threat from development, intensive agricultural practices and climate change. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Centaurium erythraea
Height: up to 25cm
Conservation status