Fritsch, Mitt. Naturw. Ver., Wien 5:97 (1907).
Synonymy: Gentiana spicata L., sp. Pl. 230 (1753); Erythraea spicata (L.)Pers., Syn. Pl. 1:283 (1805); E. australis R. Br., Prod. Fl. Nov. Holl. 451 (1810); C. australe (R. Br.)Druce, Rep. Botl Soc. Exch. Club Br. Isl. 1916:612 (1917).
Common name: Spike centaury.
Annual or rarely biennial? up to 35 cm high, often with several quadrangular branches from the base and moderately branched above, with a distinct basal rosette but withering early; leaves oblong-elliptic, lanceolate to oblanceolate, 6-40 x 3-12 mm, usually longest at the base, usually obtuse, rarely acute.
Inflorescence a thyrse with 1-3 dichasia each with lateral branches ending in monochasia with many pedicellate to sessile flowers; sepals scarcely connate basally, linear-lanceolate, 6-12 mm long, shortly pointed or acute and about two-thirds of the length of the corolla tube; corolla slender-tubular, pink to mauve; tube 9-12 mm long; lobes lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 4-5 mm long, obtuse or acute, stamens with their filaments fused to the whole of the corolla tube; anthers slightly twisted after the pollen is shed; ovary narrowly ellipsoid, tapering into the slender style which is much longer than the 2 broad stigmas.
Septicidal capsule releasing the seeds only at the apex.
All States. Native to Europe.
Flowering time: July — Nov.
SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia
Some specimens of this species have a minutely scabrous margin to the leaves, bracts and calyx lobes and should possibly be identified as C. subspicatum a species described from south-eastern Europe but which is insufficiently known to justify recognition as an independent species (cf. K. Jakobsen in P. Davis (1978) Fl. Turkey 6:183).
Not yet available