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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

The plant is used as a flavouring in bitter herbal liqueurs and is an ingredient of vermouth[1].

Unknown part

Material uses

A long-lasting bright yellowish-green dye is obtained from the flowers[2][3].

Unknown part

Dye

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

One of the most useful bitter herbs, centaury strengthens digestive function, especially within the stomach[4]. By increasing stomach secretions it hastens the breakdown of food, it also stimulates the appetite and increases bile production[4]. 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[4].

The whole herb is appetizer, aromatic, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, emetic, weakly febrifuge, hepatic, stomachic and tonic[5][2][6][7][1]. It acts on the liver and kidneys, purifies the blood and is an excellent tonic for the digestive system[8][9]. Externally, the fresh green herb is said to be a good application to wounds and sores[8]. It is often used in combination with other herbs such as camomile (Chamaemelum nobile), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) and marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)[9]. The whole plant is harvested when in flower and can be dried for later use[8][9]. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Weak willed', 'Too easily influenced' and 'Willing servitors'[10].

A homeopathic remedy is made from the plant[5]. It is used in the treatment of liver and gall bladder ailments[5].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - sow February to May in situ or as soon as it is ripe in situ[11]. Germination is usually rapid.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Centaurium erythraea. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Prefers a well-drained sandy loam with some peat[12] and a sunny position[9]. It avoids wet or rich soils[13].

Plants are not easy to grow in a garden[8]. The flowers only open in fine weather and close at midday[8]. 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[14].

A very variable plant, some botanists divide it into a number of separate species[8].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Centaurium erythraea. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Centaurium erythraea.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Centaurium erythraea
Genus
Centaurium
Family
Gentianaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.3 Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism Orbis Publishing. London. ISBN 0-85613-067-2 (1979-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-33545-3 (1975-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press ISBN 0192176218 (1969-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (1996-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (1981-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (1983-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (1984-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.29.39.4 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Chancellor. P. M. Handbook of the Bach Flower Remedies C. W. Daniel Co. Ltd. ISBN 85207 002 0 (1985-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Clapham, Tootin and Warburg. Flora of the British Isles. Cambridge University Press (1962-00-00)
    12. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    13. ? Johnson. C. P. The Useful Plants of Great Britain. ()
    14. ? Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World. Robert Hale. London. ISBN 0-7090-5440-8 (1994-00-00)

    "image:Centaurium erythraea (flowers).jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.