Thursday, February 2, 2012

Red Valerian

Centranthus ruber
Also called Jupiters Beard. A long-lived, bushy, woody-based perennial, reaching a maximum size of 6.6 x 4 ( rarely over 3 x 2.5 ) feet, that is native to southern Europe and western Asia. Centranthus is related to Valerian.
It can be invasive on some sites.
The ovate leaves, up to 6 ( averaging 3.2 ) inches in length, are fleshy and gray-green to mid-green.
The very fragrant, red or deep pink flowers, up to 0.8 inches across, are borne on showy large, rounded inflorescences, up to 4 inches across, from late spring through summer.
They attract butterflies.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in full sun to partial shade on just about any well drained soil It is very easy to grow. Drought tolerant as well as tolerant of extreme heat up to 116 F in full sun as well as highly alkaline soil. Rabbit but not deer resistant. Cut to ground during late August. Deadheading does prolong the bloom season. Propagation is from seed or division though the roots may be tough to cut apart.

* photo taken during May 2012 in Columbia, MD

* historic archive photo


'Albus'
Same except with the flowers being pure white.

'Coccineus'
Also called 'Atrococcineus'. Same except with the flowers being deep red.

'Roseus'
Rosy-pink flowers.

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