Red Valerian is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in coastal rocky areas, rocky waste ground and walls, to a mature height of up to 100cm.
Red Valerian, a plant native to the Mediterranean, was introduced into the UK by the sixteenth century. Despite its name, Red Valerian may have raspberry-red, magenta, pink or white flowers (on different plants). Its flowers are packed densely into dome-shaped flowering heads with their tiny petals exposed outwards and their long, spurred flower tubes pointing inwards, hidden from view. Red Valerian has delta-shaped leaves borne in opposing pairs up the stem. These are stalked towards the base of the plant but clasp the stem nearer the top.
Botanic classification and naming: Red Valerian is a member of the Valerian (Valerianaceae) family. The genus name
'Centranthus' identifies the plant as a Valerian and its species name 'ruber' means 'red'.
Benefits: The Hummingbird Hawk Moth and Small Elephant Hawk Moth feed on nectar from the flowers of Red Valerian.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.