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European Centaury

Centaurium erythraea

Description:

Common Centaury plant. A delicate flowering biennial herb with small pink flowers which are about 1 centimeter across. Cylindrical fruit capsules can be seen in photos. Leaves are slender and triangular in shape. The centaury usually flowers from June through September.

Habitat:

Found within the White Sands National Monument. Sand dunes composed of gypsum crystals within the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico.

Notes:

This unique landscape is formed because the gypsum crystals are enclosed within the Tularosa Basin. Usually gypsum crystals, which are water soluble are washed into the sea, but because there is no outlet they are trapped within this desert which is situated quite far from any ocean. Desert winds cause pristine white sand dunes which gives the area its surreal landscape.

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New Mexico, USA

Spotted on Jun 20, 2015
Submitted on Jul 6, 2015

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