How to grow the Centaurea
The Lesser Centaurea (Centaurium erythraea Rafn., 1800) is an annual or biennial herbaceous species; let’s see when and how to grow the centaurea. This species is cultivated in various European countries (Bulgaria, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia) and in Morocco for both officinal use and liqueur industry. Harvested in the period of full bloom (balsamic time in July) contains bitter glucosides (erythiurine, erythrocyaurine, erythromine), a luteon (erythurone), flavonoids, triterpenes, traces of pyridine and acidic alkaloids, ceryl alcohol, phytosterol, inulin, stearic acids Palmitic, an ethereal oil, waxes, gums, tannins, sugars, etc.. For these uses, smaller plants are preferred 20-30 cm at the expense of the larger ones. Because of the very slow growth, it is preferable to implant from seedlings obtained in the nursery and subsequently plant them in the field.
The plant can be made with distances between the rows of 50 cm and 15-20 cm in the row. You can choose binary files to get bigger investments. The irrigation technique must be carried out after the transplant to facilitate grafting, after the first cut to encourage recoil and when, for reasons of drought, irrigation has to be done.
In other cases it is to be avoided in order not to diminish the quality aspects of the plant.
For cultivation operations during the vegetative phase, the same must be carried out for the cultivation of full-field cultivars, ie the weeding, the mechanical decay.
For harvesting techniques, two cuts can be made annually (June-July and September-October) on the flowered summits at about 3 cm from the ground.
Fresh produce may be swirled between 30 and 60 q.l per hectare which correspond to 8 to 15 q.li of dry product. It is emphasized that about 75% of the product is obtained with the first cut.
For drying, the same rules apply to other officinal plants, ie drying in shade and in well-ventilated areas.