Centranthus ruber (L.) D C.

Red Valerian

Perennial herb to about 60 cm tall. Leaves fleshy and waxy-blue, at least at first. Lower leaves oblanceolate to elliptic, to about 10 cm long, 4 cm wide, with entire margins. Upper leaves becoming smaller, more ovate and stem-clasping, with toothed margins. Flowers stalkless, with linear bracts, fragrant; spring to summer. Calyx teeth spreading to eventually become feather-like around the fruit. Flower tube to about 1 cm long with a basal spur, white to pink or brownish red. Fruit with feathery persistent calyx.

W Asia, Europe, Canary Islands, Madeira

A resilient plant grown for the fleshy, bluish leaves and dense, long-lasting, starry flower heads. It grows well in rocky or limey soils and has naturalised in all states.

The flowers range from white to pink and deep reddish bronze. Available cultivars are listed under the Cultivars tab.

Source: Spencer, R. (2002). Valerianaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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Centranthus ruber 'Albus'

Flowers white.

Centranthus ruber 'Atrococcineus'

Flowers deep brownish red.

Centranthus ruber 'Roseus'

Flowers pink.

kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Dipsacales
family       Valerianaceae
genus        Centranthus D C.