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Annual BiennialHerbaceous Perennial

Centranthus ruber
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

red valerian

C. ruber is a woody-based perennial, sometimes grown as a biennial, with grey-green leaves and dense clusters of crimson, pink or white, slightly fragrant flowers from late spring to autumn

Other common names
fox
fox's brush
see moreGerman lilac
pretty Betsy
Spanish valerian
spur valerian
Jupiter's beard [3]
kiss-me-quick [6]
Synonyms
Centranthus ruber 'Pretty Betsy'
Valeriana 'Coccinea'

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Size
Ultimate height
0.5–1 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Pink White Green Grey Silver
Summer Red Pink White Green Grey Silver
Autumn Red Pink White Green Grey Silver
Winter Green Grey Silver
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed
Drought resistance
Yes
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Caprifoliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Centranthus may be annuals or perennials, with usually simple, opposite leaves and terminal clusters of small, trumpet-shaped flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe, Medit.

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in a well-drained soil that is poor to moderately fertile, ideally a chalky or stony soil. Good drought resistance; thrives on walls and in coastal gardens. Needs full sun to flower well.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Low Maintenance
  • Wall side borders
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Cut down stems in autumn or if self-seeding is a problem then cut back hard in July after their first flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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