Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Valeriana occidentalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ValerianaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: 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.
Genera In Family: +- 17 genera, 300 species: generally temperate, worldwide except Australia. Some species cultivated (Centranthus), some medicinal (Valeriana).
eFlora Treatment Author: Abigail J. Moore & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: ValerianaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: VALERIAN
Habit: [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.
Species In Genus: +- 200 species: temperate worldwide except Australia. Etymology: (Latin: strength, from use in folk medicine, or after Valerian, a Roman emperor)

Valeriana occidentalis A. Heller
Habit: 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.
Ecology: Moist places, conifer forest; Elevation: 1500--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: MP; Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, Montana, Colorado. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul Note: California plants approach Valeriana californica.
eFlora Treatment Author: Abigail J. Moore & Lauramay T. Dempster
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Valeriana californica
Next taxon: Valeriana pubicarpa

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botanical illustration including Valeriana occidentalis


Citation for this treatment: Abigail J. Moore & Lauramay T. Dempster 2016. Valeriana occidentalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 25, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 25, 2016.

Geographic subdivisions for Valeriana occidentalis:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.