Herb: Red Valerian


Latin name: Centranthus ruber


Synonyms: Centranthus rubra


Family: Valerianaceae (Valerian Family)



Medicinal use of Red Valerian:

Red valerian is sometimes confused in herbals and folk tradition with the true valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Whilst true valerian has a very strong action on the nervous system, this species has no known medical properties. The plant is nervine. This report possibly confuses this plant with the true valerian, Valeriana officinalis, which is a very effective nervine.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
90 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
June to
August


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Waste land, rocks, old walls etc. Prefers alkaline conditions.

Edible parts of Red Valerian:

Young leaves - raw or cooked as greens. Exceedingly good, either in salads or cooked as a vegetable. This differs from our own experience, whilst the leaves can be added to salads they are rather bitter and rather less than desirable. Root - cooked. Used in soups.

Other uses of the herb:

The seeds were used in ancient embalming.

Propagation of Red Valerian:

Seed - sow February to May in situ or as soon as it is ripe in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid. Division in spring. Cuttings, summer, in a cold frame.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste land, rocks, old walls etc. Prefers alkaline conditions.

Known hazards of Centranthus ruber:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.