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Abigail J. Moore & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, occasionally strongly scented, odor generally unpleasant. Leaf: simple to pinnately lobed or compound; petioles generally sheathing; basal ± whorled; cauline opposite, petioled to sessile. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or head-like, generally ± dense. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx fused to ovary tip, limb 0 or lobes generally 5–15, coiled inward, plumose in age, pappus-like, spreading in fruit; corolla radial to 2-lipped, lobes generally 5, throat generally > lobes, > tube, base generally spurred or swollen, tube slender, long or short; stamens generally 1–3, fused to petals; ovary inferior, chamber generally 1, or occasionally 3 but 2 empty or vestigial. Fruit: achene, smooth, ribbed, or winged.
± 17 genera, 300 species: generally temperate, worldwide except Australia. Some species cultivated (Centranthus), some medicinal (Valeriana). [Bell & Donoghue 2005 Organisms Diversity Evol 5:147–159] —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Valerianaceae

[Annual] perennial herb from rhizome or short underground caudex, glabrous to soft-hairy. Stem: generally erect, 1–several. Leaf: basal simple to pinnately lobed or compound, tapered to petiole; cauline ± sessile to ± clasping, pinnately lobed to compound, distal lobe generally > others. Inflorescence: cyme, clustered, ± dense to open, terminal or axillary. Flower: calyx lobes 5–15, rolled inward, plumose in age, spreading, persistent in fruit; corolla ± funnel-shaped, white to pink, lobes ± equal, throat >> tube, occasionally swollen near base, tube slender, occasionally obscured by swollen throat; stamens 3; ovary ± 1-chambered. Fruit: generally compressed, generally 6-veined vertically.
± 200 species: temperate worldwide except Australia. (Latin: strength, from use in folk medicine, or after Valerian, a Roman emperor) [Bell & Donoghue 2005 Organisms Diversity Evol 5:147–159]

Key to Valeriana

V. occidentalis A. Heller WESTERN VALERIAN
Plants glabrous to sparsely hairy. Stem: 3–7.5 dm, nodes short-hairy. Leaf: 5–30 cm; petiole base, occasionally sinuses between lobes short-hairy; basal leaves simple to compound, blade ovate to round, occasionally deeply 3-lobed, terminal lobe > lateral lobes; cauline deeply lobed to compound, lobes or leaflets 3–7, margin entire to fine-crenate or -dentate, terminal lobe obtuse to acute. Flower: bisexual or pistillate; corolla 3.5–4.5 mm, white, lobes ± < throat. Fruit: 3–5 mm, ovoid.
Moist places, conifer forest; 1500–2200 m. Modoc Plateau; to Oregon, Montana, Colorado. California plants approach Valeriana californica. Jun–Jul [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

Previous taxon: Valeriana californica
Next taxon: Valeriana pubicarpa


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Valeriana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 29 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Valeriana occidentalis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.