Centaury- another flower of mid-summer, the Centaury is a pink, starry flower found on dry, short grasslands, coasts, chalky and sandy soils. The flowers open in sun and close when it is dull so they are easy to pass by unnoticed in cloudy weather. It has long been used for many remedies, including as a revitalising tonic and an antiseptic. In the Bach Flower remedy system it is given for people who find it hard to say no. Perhaps there is no more extraordinary use for this lovely flower than that in a French Herbal of 1619, where it is included in the ’15 magical herbs’: “This here hath a magical virtue… for if it be joined with the blood of a female lapwing, and put with oil
in a lamp, all that compass it about shall believe themselves to be witches“. Lapwings are now too scarce to try this at home, I think. Conditions: Continual blue skies and very hot weather. Temperature: Max 31- Min 19C.