Flowers and leaves. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Flowering plant. Photo: Don Wood, Scotia Sanctuary, NSW

Common Name

Spike Centaury




Annual or rarely biennial forb to 45cm tall.  Basal leaves withering early.  Stem leaves opposite each other, 1-3cm long, 2-20mm wide, flat, hairless.  Flowers pink to red, tubular, usually with five lobes, appearing solitary at the bases of the leaves and the tops of the stems, in open leafy raceme -like arrangements along the stems. Schenkia spicata in NSW.

Differs from Centaurium tenuiflorum in that after the first fork in the branching of the inflorescence, one fork of each branch is much stronger than the other, so that the arrangement of the flowers apears raceme -like. 

Description (as Centaurium spicatum) in G.M. Cunningham, WE Mulham, PL Milthorpe and J H Leigh (1981 and later printings) Plants of Western New South Wales page 549

PlantNET description (as Schenkia spicata):