Common Centaury - Centaurium erythraea


Variable low to short plant, often with a solitary erect stem, branched above. Leaves elliptical to oval, 3 to 7 veined. Flowers pink to purplish 9 t0 15 mm, scarcely stalked, borne in flat topped, branched clusters.

Identification difficulty

Grassy habitats, often in dry places, and woodland margins.

When to see it

June to September

Life History


UK Status

Fairly frequent in Britain except the extreme north.

VC55 Status

Occasional and quite local in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 63 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Dumpy Centaury, Common Centaury
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
24/08/1996 (Steve Woodward)
Last record:
09/08/2023 (Willis, Jill)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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Latest images

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Photo of the association

Chromatomyia centaurii

The larva of the fly Chromatomyia centaurii mine the upper surface leaves of Common Centaury.  The mine starts as a gallery, but this is then commonly engulfed by the blotch that then follows. This mine is typically in a basal leaf, near to the ground, but may also move into the stem.