Common name: Spike Centaury
Schenkia australis (R.Br.) Mansion APNI*
Description: Annual or rarely biennial herb, mostly 25–40 cm high. Basal stems 4-angular, moderately branched above.
Leaves mostly elliptic to lanceolate or oblanceolate, 1–3 cm long, 2–20 mm wide, glabrous; sessile.
Compound cymes solitary or few on the stem; pedicels 2–5 mm long, or flowers nearly sessile. Calyx 5–8 mm long, about two-thirds the length of corolla tube. Corolla 9–12 mm long, pink; lobes 3–4 mm long.
Capsule 7–10 mm long, enclosed in calyx.
Flowering: spring – summer.
Distribution and occurrence: Occurs in all States.
Grows in a variety of communities, mostly in open site; widespread.
NSW subdivisions: NC, CC, SC, NT, NWS, CWS, SWS, NWP, SWP, NFWP, SFWP
Previously known under Schenkia spicata and Centaurium spicatum. Schenkia australis does not have a basal rosette, and the general branching is less compact than Schenkia spicatum which is native to western Europe to eastern Asia, intoduced into North America does not occur in Australia.
Text by G.J. Harden: Louisa Murray (Dec 2014)
Taxon concept: edited from Flora of NSW (3) and Taxon 53 (3), 2004.
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.