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Centaurium calycosum (Arizona centaury)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Centaurium calycosum

Centaurium calycosum (Buckley) Fernald

Arizona Centaury, Shortflower Centaury, Rosita, Buckley Centaury

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Synonym(s): Centaurium breviflorum, Centaurium calycosum var. breviflorum, Centaurium calycosum var. nanum, Erythraea calycosa

USDA Symbol: CECA3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

This attractive member of the Gentian family grows from Central Texas west. It prefers moist places at altitudes under 4,000 feet. It is a low-branching plant usually 8-12 inches tall, with little foliage, so that the numerous pink flowers grow in a tight cluster, like a bouquet or corsage. Leaves are rarely more than 1/2 inch long, the blossoms 1 inch across. It has an unbelievable number of buds, which continue to bloom for days, even when picked. Blossoms are tubular with 5 starlike lobes and a small white eye in the center.

The brilliant pink corolla resembles that of Phlox species, which have three branches on the style; the style on Centaurium species ends with a small knob or two short branches.


From the Image Gallery

10 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall, often shorter.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: Southeastern California northeast to southern Utah, east to central Texas, and south to northern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Moist open areas along streams, in prairies and meadows, and on hillsides.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX


Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Centaurium calycosum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Centaurium calycosum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Centaurium calycosum


Record Modified: 2023-04-04
Research By: TWC Staff

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