Centranthus ruber subsp. ruber

Red Valerian

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Perennial herb or subshrub to c. 1 m high, glabrous. Lower leaves petiolate, oblanceolate or narrow-elliptic, mostly 3.5–12 cm long and 1–5 cm wide, apex acute, base attenuate, margins more or less entire, younger leaves glaucous; upper leaves sessile, becoming ovate-acuminate, margins often dentate near inflorescences. Thyrses rounded or elongate, often divided into several cymose part-inflorescences; bracts linear, scale-like. Sepals numerous, inrolled at anthesis, spreading in fruit, plumose; corolla pink to rose-red (rarely white), tube slender, 7–11 mm long, basal spur 4–8 mm long, lobes oblong-lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, posterior lobe often slightly longer; stigma small, rounded. Cypsela oblong-ovoid, 3–4 mm long, compressed, surmounted by feathery pappus.  Flowers mainly Aug.–Dec.

*CVU, *GipP, *Gold, *HNF, *HSF, *OtP, *VVP, *WaP. Also naturalized WA, SA, Qld, NSW, ACT, Tas. Native to south-eastern Europe. Widely cultivated as an ornamental and for its medicinal properties, occasionally naturalized in cooler areas of the State.

Subsp. sibthorpii (Heldr. & Sart. ex Boiss.) Hayek differs in having all leaves lanceolate, entire and obtuse.

Source: Jeanes, J.A. (1999). Valerianaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 4, Cornaceae to Asteraceae. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2020-03-04
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Asteranae
order Dipsacales
family Valerianaceae
genus Centranthus
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Centranthus ruber subsp. ruber in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Centranthus ruber subsp. ruber in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Warrnambool Plain present introduced
Goldfields present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present introduced

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory