by Stephen Mifsud
   25 Jul 2024      ()
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Centaurium erythraea   (Common Centaury)

Centaurium erythraea  (GENTIANACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Dec-2007 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Centaurium erythraea - datasheet created on Dec-2007. Retrieved from on 25-Jul-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Centaurium erythraeaRafn
Published in Danm. Holst. Fl. 2: 75 (1800)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Erythraea centaurium Borkh.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Gentianaceae Juss. (The Gentian Family)
5 species from the Gentianaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Common Centaury, European Centaury

Maltese name(s) :

Ċentawrija kbira, Ċappisa

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

March – May

Colour of Flowers:

Pink or Violet


Not particularly toxic

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Dry grassland, scrub and mountain slopes.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Botanical Description: Biennial (3-)10-50 cm. Stem usually solitary, sometimes several, usually branched in the upper part. Rosette-leaves 1-5 x 0.8-2 cm, obovate to elliptical, usually obtuse, 3- to 7-veined; cauline leaves usually much smaller and narrower, often acute, 3-veined. Flowers of variable size, pink to pinkish-purple, rarely white, in a dense or lax corymbiform cyme. Calyx ½-¾ as long as, rarely nearly equalling the corolla-tube.
Distributional range: Europe, northwards to c. 61° N. in N.W. Russia.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
All except Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE Ag Al Ar Au(A) Az dAz(C F G J L M P S T) Be Bl(M N) Br Bu By Co Cr Cs Ct Cy Da Es Ga(F) Ge Gr Hb(E) He Ho Hs(S) Hu Ir It La Li LS Lt Lu Ma Mo Po Rf(C E K N NW S) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl Sr Su Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [Ca(C H P T) Fe]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (11 images)
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-0.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-1.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-2.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-3.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-4.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-5.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-6.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-7.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-8.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-9.
   Centaurium erythraea   -   Image Code: CNTER-10.

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