Common Centaury is a
biennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in chalk grassland, heath and woodland margins, to a mature height of up to 30cm.
Common Centaury bears dense clusters of up to fifty flowers to a plant. Its flowers like full sun and close up in poor weather. Centaury takes its name from the centaur, a creature of Greek mythology, which was half-human and half-horse. This is because the centaur Chiron, a herbalist, was said to have used the medicinal properties of the plant on himself to overcome the effects of a poison arrow.
Botanic classification and naming: Common Centaury is a member of the Gentian (Gentianaceae) family. The genus name
'Centaurium' identifies the plant as a Centaury and its species name 'erythraea' means 'red'.