Zeltnera venusta (A. Gray) G. Mans.

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)


Canchalagua is an erect glabrous annual 6" to 2' tall with a simple stem branching above.  The leaves are opposite, sessile, narrowly ovate to oblong, and pale green. The beautiful flowers are solitary at the ends of branches.  The corolla has five rose colored petals white at the base with a yellow throat, sometimes with red spots on the white patches.  The five stamens have anthers that twist spirally after their pollen has been harvested, and the stigma is fan-shaped on a long style.  The fruit is a many seeded capsule.  Canchalagua blooms from May to July and occupies dry slopes and flats in coastal sage scrub and chaparral, grassland and forest to about 3000' from western San Diego Co. to Ventura Co. and the edge of the Mojave Desert.  This relatively common species is truly one of our most attractive flowers.  These pictures were taken at Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in the flood plain of the San Gabriel River.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Zeltnera 2) venusta.
Pronunciation: ZELT-ner-a ven-OOS-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.
Formerly Centaureum venustum.