Valeriana officinalis L.

Common Valerian

A variable subshrub to 1 m or more tall with a short, sometimes stoloniferous, rhizome. Leaves with mostly 5-10 pairs of oblong to ovate lobes that are entire or toothed. Flowers bisexual, white, pink or lavender, fragrant.


The rhizome is the source of valerian which has various medicinal properties, mostly as a sedative, but it is also used in perfumery. A cat attractant.

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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Distribution map
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Dipsacales
family       Valerianaceae
genus        Valeriana L.