Around 9 species of annual or perennials, from the Mediterranean. Leaves are normally opposite and have a fleshy feel. Masses of flowers are produced, in branched heads, red, white or pink. Suitable for an open garden spot and tolerant of drought and coastal conditions. Centranthus is derived from the Greek kentron, meaning 'spur' and anthos, meaning 'flower'. Each small flower indeed does have a long spur, hence the common name red spur valerian. Also the flowers are particularly attractive to butterflies, hummingbird hawk-moths, as they have a long proboscis to reach the nectar at the base of the flower spurs.