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VALERIANACEAE

VALERIAN FAMILY

Lauramay T. Dempster (except as specified)

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes strongly scented; odor generally disagreeable
Leaves simple, pinnately lobed, or compound; petioles sometimes sheathing; basal ± whorled; cauline opposite, petioled to sessile
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or head-like, generally ± dense
Flowers generally bisexual; calyx fused to ovary top, limb 0 or highly modified (if present, lobes generally 5–15, coiled inward, becoming plumose, 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, epipetalous; ovary inferior, chamber generally 1 (sometimes 3 but 2 empty or vestigial)
Fruit: achene, smooth, ribbed, or winged
Genera in family: ± 17 genera, 300 species: generally temp, worldwide except Australia. Some species cultivated (Centranthus ), some medicinal (Valeriana )
Reference: [Ferguson 1965 J Arnold Arbor 46:218–225]

VALERIANA

VALERIAN

Annual, perennial herb (in CA) from rhizome or short underground caudex, glabrous to soft-hairy
Stem generally erect, 1–several
Leaves: basal simple or pinnately lobed, tapered to petiole; cauline subsessile to ± clasping, pinnately lobed, distal lobe generally > others
Inflorescence: cyme, clustered, ± dense to open, terminal or axillary
Flower: calyx lobes 5–15, generally ± coiled inward, becoming plumose, spreading and persistent in fruit; corolla ± funnel-shaped, white or pink, lobes ± equal, throat >> tube, sometimes swollen near base, tube slender, sometimes obscured by swollen throat; stamens 3; ovary ± 1-chambered
Fruit generally compressed, generally 6-veined vertically
Species in genus: ± 200 species: temp worldwide except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: strength, from use in folk medicine, or after Valerian, a Roman emperor)
Reference: [Meyer 1951 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 38:377–503]

Native

V. sitchensis Bong.

Plants generally with bisexual flowers, generally glabrous
Stem 1.1–7 dm; nodes short-hairy
Leaves 3–20 cm, basal or cauline; basal simple, lobed, or compound; cauline deeply lobed to compound, lobes or leaflets generally 3–7, lanceolate to round
Flower: corolla 5–8 mm, white or pinkish, throat ± 2 X lobe length
Fruit 4–6 mm, ovoid to ± oblong in outline
Ecology: Moist places
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Klamath Ranges, n Outer North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Colorado

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