Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

Schenkia australis is a small flowering annual or biennial herb, growing between 4 cm to 20 cm in height. Flowering during August through to February, the herb is found in open areas, including damp areas, such as these photographed in the water-filled Ilparpa Claypans, during periods of usual amount of rainfall.

Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs NT
Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs NT

The flower is a bright pink to purple, with a yellow centre. Leaves are mostly elliptic to lanceolate or oblanceolate, approximately 1 – 3 cm long.

Found listed under Schenkia spicata and Centaurium spicatum, with common name of Spike Centaury.

Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs
Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs
Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs
Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis), Ilparpa Claypans, Alice Springs

More information in our Flora section on the Spike Centaury (Schenkia australis).


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Eudicots
  • Clade: Asterids
  • Order: Gentianales
  • Family: Gentianaceae
  • Genus: Schenkia
  • Species: S. australis
  • Binomial name: Schenkia australis

Ilparpa Claypans FloraAnnual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) Apple Bush (Pterocaulon sphacelatum) Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) Button grass (Dactyloctenium radulans) Centipeda crateriformis Cyperus sp Goatshead Burr (Sclerolaena bicornis) Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum) Invisible Plant (Siemssenia capillaris) Longtails (Ptilotus polystachyus) Nardoo (Marsilea drummondii) Pink Everlasting (Schoenia cassiniana) Polycarpaea corymbosa var brevifolia Red Pussytail (Ptilotus polystachyus) Schenkia australis Small-Leaf Swainson-Pea (Swainsona microphylla) Tiny Purslane (Calandrinia pumila) Tiny Purslane (White form) Variable Daisy (Brachyscome ciliaris) Wahlenbergia capillaris Yellow Billybutton (Calocephalus platycephalus)

Ilparpa ClaypansIlparpa Claypans Fauna Ilparpa Claypans Flora Ilparpa Claypans Landscape

Northern TerritoryCentral Australia Aileron Alice Springs Binns Track Chambers Pillar Historical Reserve Ernest Giles Road Finke Gorge National Park Henbury Meteorites Conservation Reserve Hermannsburg Historic Precinct Ilparpa Claypans Karlu Karlu / Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve MacDonnell Ranges Owen Springs Reserve Red Centre Way Drive Standley Chasm Tnorala (Gosse Bluff) Conservation Reserve Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Watarrka National Park & Kings Canyon Wurre / Rainbow Valley