Annual or biennial, glabrous herbs. Leaves sessile, sometimes rosetted at base. Inflorescences spike-like, of (1–)several monochasia. Flowers sessile. Calyx narrowly (4–)5-lobed for at least half its length; corolla-lobes (4–)5, spreading above a narrow tube; stamens shortly exceeding corolla-tube, inserted at apex of corolla-tube, anthers strongly twisted after dehiscence; ovary cylindric, 1-locular, style not divided, stigmas 2, united at the apex of a slender style; stigma lobes rhombic to fan-shaped, not fleshy. Capsule ellipsoid, septicidal, initially opening terminally, remaining in withered corolla; seeds numerous, c. 0.5 mm long, reticulate.
5 species from Australia, Pacific Islands, Asia and Europe; 2 species in Australia.
Schenckia contains all native Australian species previously included within Centaurium. In Phylogenetic analyses of DNA data Schenkia forms a lineage that is more closely related to the Mediterranean genus Exaculum than Centaurium (Mansion & Struwe 2004).