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Red Valerian

Centranthus ruber     Fr: Centranthe rouge

 Valerian, Red photo valerian-red082b.jpg

This is a common and conspicuous plant, with its clusters of flowers growing along the roadsides throughout the region. In spite of the name, the thousands of flowers we've seen growing so far have all been pink, rather than red. The stems are tall and bluish-green, with a waxy surface.

Flowers. Apr-Aug

Flower. The flowers grow in dense clusters, and are usually pink, although red and sometimes white are said to exist. An individual flower is a narrow tube, about 10 mm long, with a 5-lobed mouth. There's a short, slender spur extending back from the base of the flower.

Leaves. The leaves are long oval to lance shaped, opposite paired, and the upper leaves are stalkless on the stem, and slightly toothed.

Habitat. Rock walls, rocky ground and roadside embankments

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