T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Valeriana officinalis (Common Valerian)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Dipsacales
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Genus: Valeriana
Species: V. officinalis
Binomial name: Valeriana officinalis
Common names: Valerian, Common Valerian, Garden Valerian, All-heal, Garden Heliotrope (although not related to Heliotropium).

Valeriana officinalis is a perennial clumping perennial of the Honeysuckle Family – Caprifoliaceae. It is native to Europe and parts of Asia. In New Zealand it has escaped gardens and has naturalised. In some areas it is classed as a weed. It typically grows in damp locations and is often found along roads and paths.

Valeriana officinalis has a clump of deeply lobed basal foliage from which rise tall (80 – 150 cm), slender, sparsely-leaved stems topped during summer by highly fragrant, white to pale pink flowers. The leaves, stems, and roots are also scented.
The stems are branching, bristly, glabrous (sometimes short-haired at top), hollow and are often reddish.
The leaves are opposite and have petioles. The blade is pinnate, with 6–11 pairs and terminal leaflet. Leaflets are toothed with entire margins. The terminal leaflets not really broader than lateral leaflets.
Inflorescences are umbellate, compound cymes of sweetly scented pink or white flowers. 
The fruit are green, often with spreading hairs, with flying hairs and 2–3 mm long achene.




Valeriana officinalis fruit pappus
 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/