Zeltnera texensis (Griseb.) G. Mans. ex J.S. Pringle

Lady Bird's Mountain-Pink, Texas Centaury


CC = 9
CW = 5
MOC = 9

© SRTurner

Family - Gentianaceae

Habit - Annual or biennial forb, glabrous.

Zeltnera_texensis_habit.jpg Branched habit.

© SRTurner

Stem - To 30 cm, usually branched, square in cross section, glabrous.


© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, simple, sessile, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1-8 mm wide, glabrous.

Zeltnera_texensis_leaves1.jpg Stem and leaves.

© SRTurner

Inflorescences - Open panicles or clusters.

Zeltnera_texensis_inflorescence1.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Zeltnera_texensis_inflorescence2.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Calyces deeply lobed, appressed to the corolla tube, the lobes keeled, 6-10 mm long. Corollas trumpet-shaped, 12-18 mm long, pink, rarely white, the tube 8-11 mm long and lobes 4-7 mm long. Stamens exserted, anthers spirally twisted after dehiscence. Ovaries 1 per flower, elongate, sessile, the style 1, slender, elongate, the stigma capitate, 2-lobed.

Zeltnera_texensis_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Zeltnera_texensis_calyces.jpg Calyces.

© SRTurner

Zeltnera_texensis_corollas.jpg Corollas.

© SRTurner

Zeltnera_texensis_corolla.jpg Corolla.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Thin-walled capsules, oblong to fusiform, protected by the persistent calyces and dried corollas, longitudinally dehiscent.

Zeltnera_texensis_fruits1.jpg Fruits.

© SRTurner

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Calcareous glades.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - Due to its diminutive stature, this little plant is easily overlooked despite its pink flowers. In Missouri it is found mainly on glades in the southwestern part of the state, where it is fairly common. Its main distribution is a tight cluster in the central part of Texas. When flowering the plant is easily recognized by its small pink flowers, long calyces, and habitat. Fruiting plants may be recognized by the distinctive fruits.

This species has previously been called Centaurium texense (Griseb.) Fernald.

Photographs taken at Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway, Ozark County, MO, 6-30-2011, 8-15-2023, and 8-16-2023, and the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, Taney County, MO, 7-28-2016 (SRTurner).