Garden heliotrope or Valerian
Tall (1-5') herbaceous perennial with fleshy stalks. Introduced as a medicinal plant. Roots have a pungent odor. Plants emerge early in spring.
OverviewOther names for this plant include:
- Common names: garden heliotrope, garden valerian, Greek valerian, common valerian
- Scientific names: None
- Invades upland forests, wetlands, marshes, woodland swamps, grasslands, and stream edges.
- Tolerant of both wet and dry conditions.
- Rapidly expanding its range in northern Wisconsin.
- Early emergence, vigorous growth habit and the ability to self-seed give this species a competitive advantage resulting in the displacement of native species.
Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted
Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for garden valerian was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.
Leaves & stems: Opposite, pinnately compound leaves. 5-25 toothed lanceolate leaflets.
Flowers: White to pale-pink tiny flowers, arranged in tight clusters.
Fruits & seeds: Small oblong capsules release abundant powdery seeds.
Roots: White, fleshy rhizomes with thick fibrous roots and a pungent odor.
- Pull, cut or mow plants prior to flowering.
- Foliar spray with triclopyr or glyphosate.
View garden valerian pictures in our photo gallery!
ResourcesSources for content:
- Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 70-72
- Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Valeriana officinalis. [exit DNR]
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
- Gleason, H., Cronquist, A. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plant of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada Second Edition; pg 66.