Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Centaurium exaltatum (Griseb.) W. Wight ex Piper
- Family: Gentian (Gentianaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: The flowers in the genus Centaurium are pink or rose in color and form a slender tube below the 5 petal-lobes. The anthers become twisted after releasing their pollen. The petal-lobes are not more than 1/3 inch long, and all
- Habitat: Along streams, in marshes, around hot springs, sometimes in alkaline soils.
- Habit: Annual herb with fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, unbranched, slender, up to 1 1/4 feet tall, smooth, often 4-sided and even narrowly winged.
- Leaves: Opposite, simple, linear to lanceolate, pointed at the tip, tapering to the sessile base, up to 2 inches long, up to 3/4 inch wide, without teeth, smooth.
- Flowers: Few in a cyme, each flower on a slender stalk 1-3 inches long.
- Sepals: 4 or 5, united below, green, up to 1/2 inch long, with very slender teeth, smooth.
- Petals: 4 or 5, united below to form an elongated tube, pink or rose, the tube up to 1/2 inch long and with a greenish or yellowish center, the lobes up to 1/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 4 or 5, exserted beyond the tube of the petals: anthers twisted after shedding the pollen.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules cylindrical, 1/2-3/4 inch long, smooth, containing small, ovoid, dark brown seeds.
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