Centaurium erythraea is an erect biennial herb reaching up to half a meter in height. It grows from a small basal rosette and bears a leafy, erect stem which can branch. Opposite triangular leaves are arranged on the stem and erect inflorescences emerge from the stem, often intricately intertwined with foliage. Each inflorescence contains multiple small, pinkish-lavender flowers - typically around one centimeter in diameter, flat-faced and with yellow anthers.
This plant is native to Europe, but is also found in North Africa, Eastern Europe, parts of Asia and as an invasive species in North America. It grows 2-5 feet tall and should be planted in full sun or semi-shade. Regular watering is essential, as it does not tolerate floods or extended drought. The flowers bloom in summer and may need staking for wind-support.
Centaurium erythraea has long been used for its medicinal properties. Traditional Chinese medicine uses it as an astringent, diuretic and for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. It is employed for the treatment of anemia, digestive issues, infections and liver problems.
Centaurium erythraea is hardy in USDA Zones 1-9
This low maintenance, tropical shrub is ideal for garden or yard decoration. With proper pruning, its natural form can be formed. When in full bloom, Centaurium erythraea displays impressive bright pink flowers capable of captivating attention. With the right amount of care and coverage for the roots, it will blossom again year after year.