DESCRIPTION: Height up to 20cm. This smart little flower grows from a basal rosette of fleshy leaves. The square stems sports opposite growing leaves that are linearly lanceolate and 1 veined. The stalkless flowers are a glorious red-pink and are made up of 5 petals arising from a 5-lobed calyx. Five white stamens protrude each bearing a long twisted golden-yellow anther. DISTRIBUTION: Widespread and local. HABITAT: Coastal areas especially with sand or shingle. FLOWERING TIME: July to August. FURTHER INFO: It has been used as a herbal cure for freckles. The tincture of Centaury is bitter and is used in non-alcoholic bitter tonics in Europe and in alcoholic Vermouth formulations. Another use for the family of Centaury is to mix the plant with equal parts of Dandelion root and give as a decoction in tablespoons 3 times a day to treat jaundice.
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