Valerian Family

Annual or perennial herbs. Leaves opposite, simple or compound and generally joined at the base by a basal ridge; stipules absent. Flower clusters terminal, flat-topped or elongated. Flowers bisexual, regular or irregular, mostly 5-parted. Calyx tubular, with 1-25 lobes, persistent in fruit. Corolla tubular, with 5 lobes and sometimes with a spur. Stamens 1-3. Ovary inferior, with 3 chambers, each containing 1 ovule. Fruit an achene.

Fedia gracilifolia Fischer & C.Mey.,African Valerian, Horn of Plenty, from the Mediterranean is weedy in Qld.

Root and leaf extracts of Valeriana species have medicinal properties. Valerianella is used as a salad plant. Species in the genus Nardostachys are used to produce dyes and perfumes.

Opposite leaves, often with clasping bases; corolla of commonly cultivated plants with spurs; stamens 1-3. Dry plants have an unusual odour produced by valerianic acid, mostly in the roots.

17 genera and about 400 species from Eurasia, Africa and America. Australia has 2 native genera and species.

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.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Dipsacales
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
genus        Centranthus D C.
genus        Valeriana L.
genus        Valerianella Mill.