Page authors: David Giblin, Don Knoke
Zeltnera exaltata
desert centaury, tall centaury

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to California, east to the northern Great Plains.

Habitat: Moist places, especially around alkaline lakes and hot springs.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Annual, glabrous herbs, the usually simple stems 1-several, 5-25 cm. tall.


Basal leaves few to several, not rosette-forming, elliptic-lanceolate to oblanceolate, 5-25 mm. long, 1-veined; cauline leaves opposite, acute, longer and narrower than the basal leaves.


Flowers few, often single; pedicels slender, straight and upright, that of the central flower 2-4 cm. long, exceeding the subtending bracts; calyx slender, 6-9 mm. long, the 5 lobes separated nearly to the base; corolla light salmon to nearly white, the slender tube up 1.5 times the length of the calyx, the five lobes widely flaring,. 4 mm. long, lanceolate, truncated; stamens attached halfway in the corolla tube, exerted; anthers only slightly twisted; ovary superior.


Capsule 2-valved, nearly twice the length of the calyx.

Accepted Name:
Zeltnera exaltata (Griseb.) G. Mans.
Publication: Taxon 53(3): 731. 2004.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Centaurium exaltatum (Griseb.) W. Wight ex Piper [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Zeltnera exaltata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Zeltnera exaltata checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Zeltnera exaltata information.

E-Flora BC: Zeltnera exaltata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Zeltnera exaltata photos.

USDA Plants: Zeltnera exaltata information.

23 photographs:
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