Valeriana officinalis

19 Jul

Valeriana officinalis (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Valeriana officinalis (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.5m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Valerianaceae

Valeriana officinalis is a herbaceous perennial with an upright habit. Its mid green leaves are deeply lobed, up to 15cm long and 8cm broad. Its fragrant pink/ white flowers are up to 5mm across and appear in corymbs which are up to 10cm across. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its spread.

Valeriana officinalis Flower (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Valeriana officinalis Flower (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Valeriana officinalis, commonly known as Valerian, is native to Europe (including the UK) and temperate parts of Asia. In its native habitat it grow in grassland, scrub and woods. This plant has a long history of use as a medicinal herb.

The etymological root of the binomial name Valeriana is derived from the Latin valere meaning ‘healthy’. Officinalis is derived from the Latin translating as ‘of the shop’.

The landscape architect may find Valeriana officinalis useful as part of a wildlife garden planting scheme.

Valeriana officinalis Leaf (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Valeriana officinalis Leaf (26/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Valeriana officinalis Its flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its foliage is attractive to some larvae of butterflies and moths.

Valeriana officinalis prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil although it dislikes strongly acid soils.

Valeriana officinalis requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring as the new leaves appear.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: