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Centaurium erythraea - Rafn.                
                 
Common Name Centaury - Feverwort
Family Gentianaceae
Synonyms Centaurium minus. Centaurium umbellatum. Erythraea centaurium.
Known Hazards May cause mild abdominal discomfort and cramps. Contraindicated in patients with peptic ulcers. Safety during pregnancy and lactation has not been established [301].
Habitats Open woods, meadows and dry grasslands[9, 13], often on chalky soils[4].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Sweden to the Mediterranean and east to S. W. Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Centaurium erythraea is a ANNUAL/BIENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from Jun to October, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Centaurium erythraea Centaury - Feverwort


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Koeh-058.jpg
Centaurium erythraea Centaury - Feverwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Teacoolish
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Meadow;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The plant is used as a flavouring in bitter herbal liqueurs and is an ingredient of vermouth[268].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Appetizer;  Aromatic;  Bach;  Bitter;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  Digestive;  Emetic;  Febrifuge;  Hepatic;  Homeopathy;  
Poultice;  Stomachic;  Tonic.

One of the most useful bitter herbs, centaury strengthens digestive function, especially within the stomach[254]. By increasing stomach secretions it hastens the breakdown of food, it also stimulates the appetite and increases bile production[254]. The plant needs to be take over a number of weeks and an infusion should be slowly sipped so that the components (their bitterness can be detected at a dilution of 1:3,500) can stimulate reflex activity throughout the upper digestive tract[254]. The whole herb is appetizer, aromatic, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emetic, weakly febrifuge, hepatic, stomachic and tonic[9, 13, 21, 165, 268]. It acts on the liver and kidneys, purifies the blood and is an excellent tonic for the digestive system[4, 238]. Externally, the fresh green herb is said to be a good application to wounds and sores[4]. It is often used in combination with other herbs such as camomile (Chamaemelum nobile), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)[238]. The whole plant is harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use[4, 238]. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Weak willed', 'Too easily influenced' and 'Willing servitors'[209]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[9]. It is used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder ailments[9]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Centaurium erythraea for dyspeptic complaints, loss of appetite (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
Dye.

A long-lasting bright yellowish-green dye is obtained from the flowers[13, 100].
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a well-drained sandy loam with some peat[1] and a sunny position[238]. It avoids wet or rich soils[115]. Plants are not easy to grow in a garden[4]. The flowers only open in fine weather and close at midday[4]. Although the growing plant is scentless, if the cut stems are immersed in warm water for 24 hours a most penetrating odour will be observed on distillation[245]. A very variable plant, some botanists divide it into a number of separate species[4].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow February to May in situ or as soon as it is ripe in situ[17]. Germination is usually rapid.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
Rafn.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[9]Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants in Europe. a drawing of each plant, quite a bit of interesting information.
[13]Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
[17]Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles.
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
[21]Lust. J. The Herb Book.
Lots of information tightly crammed into a fairly small book.
[100]Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide.
An excellent and well illustrated pocket guide for those with very large pockets. Also gives some details on plant uses.
[115]Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain.
Written about a hundred years ago, but still a very good guide to the useful plants of Britain.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[209]Chancellor. P. M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies
Details the 38 remedies plus how and where to prescribe them.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[268]Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.
[301]Karalliedde. L. and Gawarammana. I. Traditional Herbal Medicines
A guide to the safer use of herbal medicines.
[302]From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Commission E
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_E

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
mary follin Tue Sep 1 2009
Hi, I am desperately looking to grow this plant from seeds or plants as I tske the tincture prepared by A. Vogel everyday which is pulling on the purse strings and I have tried other alternatives but find this works best. Do you know who sells these seeds/plants as I do not want to forage for them. thank-you
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