This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, red; alluding to the flowers of some species). Gentianaceae. Two outdoor species are in cultivation, with bright deep rose flowers, one of which is a rockery plant from the Azores, the other a Cali-fornian annual. Centaurium is name now used.
Small or low herbs, annuals, biennials and perennials with simple and entire sessile opposite leaves, and small or medium-sized 5- or 4-merous, mostly red or pink flowers: calyx-lobes narrow and keeled; corolla salver-shaped; filaments 4 or 5, slender, the anthers becoming twisted; style filiform: caps, oblong or elongated. - About 30 species in the Old and New Worlds; interesting, but little known in cultivation Three or 4 small species have been naturalized from Eu.
A light sandy loam, in a protected nook of the rockery, with partial shade, is required for E. Mas-sonii (or E. diffusa), which is a charming little alpine plant. It must be planted in a well-sheltered position, and requires protection from sun and severe frost in winter, but the little plant is well worth all the extra care one may have to expend on it in winter. Propagated by cuttings, seeds or division. (J. B. Keller.)
Massonii, Sweet (E. diffusa, Woods). Height 4 in.: stems ascending, tufted, not branched above, 1-3-flowered: leaves fleshy, usually concave, shining: flowers lateral. Azores. - Annuals in Azores, biennial in W. Eu. The plant cult, under this name is considered perennial by our nurserymen.
Gray. Height 6-10 in.: stems erect, 4-angled, cymosely branched: leaves 1/2-l in. long, oblong or ovate-oblong, very blunt: corolla-lobes oval or obovate or oblong, 1/2in. or less long, deep pink; corolla-tube yellowish, about the length of the calyx. Dry hills. Calif. B.M. 6396. L. H. B.†