Lesser Centaury

Centaurium pulchellum

  1. Wildlife
  2. Wildflowers
  3. Lesser Centaury


Smaller and more slender than Common Centaury, barely 15cm, this annual plant can be found on bare, often damp, grassy open ground on a wide variety of soils.

How to identify

Very open forked, branching growth. No basal leaves, unlike common centaury with which it can be confused. Narrow eliptical 3-7 veined leaves in opposite pairs along the stem. Bright pink flowers are in the forks and on the shoot tips in loose clustsers with 5, occasionally 4, petalled flowers.

Where to find it

Bare patches in open grassy habitats on a either acid or calcareous soils. Most common in southern England but also on the coast of north Wales and NW England.


When to find it

  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many habitats sympathetically for the benefit of all kinds of wildlife. By volunteering for your local Trust you can help too and you'll make new friends and learn new skills along the way.

Species information

Common name
Lesser Centaury
Latin name
Centaurium pulchellum
Normally up to 10cm, rarely up to 15cm.