Plants to look for in August — Red Valerian

Red Valerian

Where to look

Gardens, roadsides, walls and disturbed ground.


Although Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) was first found in the Mediterranean, it was introduced to other parts of the world as a garden plant and from there escaped into the wild. It’s so invasive that it must not even be owned or imported into South Africa! It spreads so easily because it has tufted seeds which are carried on the wind like dandelion seeds.  It is also very tolerant of alkaline conditions, which allows it to grow in places that other plants couldn’t live, such as the mortar of old walls. It is not to be confused with true Valerian (Valeriana officinalis). It is very good for pollinaters.

Where we've found Red Valerians

Red Valerian spottings journal (5 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
26 Aug 2020 Spillmans Road Ilse Layfield Leafgatherers I spotted this up on Rodborough Hill
21 May 2020 Gavin Blended
7 May 2020 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
27 Apr 2020 Pavement Amélie Cooks&Co
2 Apr 2020 Polzeath Daisy Blended Very early Red Valerian!


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