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Herbaceous Perennial

Valeriana officinalis
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

common valerian

A clump-foming herbaceous perennial to 1.5m tall, with aromatic, bright green, pinnate, basal and stem leaves composed of leaflets, the fleshy stems topped with rounded clusters of small pink or white flowers in summer

Other common names
all-heal
capon's tail
see morecat's valerian
cut-finger
cut-heal
garden heliotrope
hardy heliotrope
Hercules' all-heal
medicinal valerian
phu
set-wall
set-well
St George's herb
summer heliotrope
Vandal root
herb bennet
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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.5–1 metres
Growing conditions
Clay
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Pink White Green
Autumn
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Genus

Valeriana can be annuals, herbaceous perennials or evergreen shrubs, with simple or pinnately lobed leaves and terminal sprays of small, white, pink or yellow flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eurasia

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in any moist soil in full sun or dappled shade

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in the open, or take basal cuttings (see softwood cuttings) in spring. Can also be propagated by division in spring or autumn

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildflower meadow
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Coastal
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Can be cut back to ground level in autumn

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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