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Valeriana rubra

Previously known as:

  • Centranthus ruber
Phonetic Spelling
va-ler-ee-AH-nuh ROO-bruh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Valeriana rubra, formally called Centranthus rubra is weedy wildflower in Europe, growing on chalky cliffs and stone walls.  In the US, plants growing in gardens have the tendency to naturalize.   After blooming, seed heads will replace the blooms.  These seed heads are similar in appearance to a dandelion and are dispersed by the wind.  Deadheading is necessary to prevent the spread of this invasive specimen.  

In the US it can be found growing in the wild in state located along the west coast in as well as Hawaii.   

Its leaves and roots are both edible.  The leaves can be eaten raw or lightly boiled.  The roots can be used in preparing soups.  

Larvae of some Lepidoptera butterfly and moth use this plant as a food source.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious issues.  Can become invasive.  Aphids and mealy bugs may be bothersome.  Continuously wet soil can lead to crown rot.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Albus'
    White flowers.
  • 'Coccineus'
    Long bloom period.
'Albus', 'Coccineus'
Tags:
#showy flowers#invasive#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#pink flowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#cut flowers#erosion control#reseeds#naturalizes#cutting garden#spring interest#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Albus'
    White flowers.
  • 'Coccineus'
    Long bloom period.
'Albus', 'Coccineus'
Tags:
#showy flowers#invasive#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#perennials#white flowers#pink flowers#weedy#fragrant leaves#cut flowers#erosion control#reseeds#naturalizes#cutting garden#spring interest#pollinator plant#poor soils tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Valeriana
    Species:
    rubra
    Family:
    Caprifoliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Azores, S. Europe, NW. Africa
    Distribution:
    AZ, CA, HI, OR, UT, WA
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees and butterflies are attracted, as well as other insects.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Fragrance
    Edibility:
    The leaves and roots can be eaten.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Individual flowers that grow in clusters are small. The clusters are sizeable and showy. Typically found in dark red or purple-red. Occasionally, pink, lavender and white varieties can be seen.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The fleshy leaves form changes from the bottom of the plant to the top. The lower leaves attach to the stem via a petiolate (stalk), the upper leaves have no stalk, therefore sessile.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Protruding through the foliage, the stems stand 1.5-3' tall with clusters of flowers at the top. They are stout, shrubby at the base, hollow, and have a smooth texture.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy