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Centranthus ruber - (L.)DC.
Common Name Red Valerian, Fox's Brush, Jupiter's Beard
Family Valerianaceae
USDA hardiness 5-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Waste land, rocks, old walls etc[4]. Prefers alkaline conditions[268].
Range Europe. Naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun

Bloom Color: Pink, Red, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Late spring. Form: Upright or erect.

Centranthus ruber Red Valerian, Fox

Centranthus ruber Red Valerian, Fox
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Centranthus ruber is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.6 m (2ft in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, lepidoptera.It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.


 Hedgerow; Cultivated Beds; East Wall. In. South Wall. In. West Wall. In.
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Root.
Edible Uses:

Young leaves - raw or cooked as greens[2, 5, 52, 115]. Exceedingly good, either in salads or cooked as a vegetable[4]. This differs from our own experience, whilst the leaves can be added to salads they are rather bitter and rather less than desirable[8, 183, K]. Root - cooked[4]. Used in soups[4].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Miscellany;  Nervine.

Red valerian is sometimes confused in herbals and folk tradition with the true valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Whilst true valerian has a very strong action on the nervous system, this species has no known medical properties[244, 268]. The plant is nervine[148]. This report possibly confuses this plant with the true valerian, Valeriana officinalis, which is a very effective nervine.


Other Uses

The seeds were used in ancient embalming[89, 148].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Border, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Seashore. Grows well in ordinary moist, well-drained garden soil and on dry walls[1, 111, 200]. Prefers a sunny position[111], though it also succeeds in semi-shade[219]. Thrives on chalk[200], poor soils[188] and in sandy soils[187]. Established plants are drought tolerant[190]. This species is hardy to about -15°c[187, 200]. Plants are generally long-lived and grow especially well in maritime areas, where they are a common feature of hedgerows and walls[219, K]. A very ornamental plant[1], it attracts moths and butterflies[30]. The flowers have an unpleasant smell like perspiration[245]. Special Features: Attracts birds, Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Extended bloom season in Zones 9A and above, Fragrant flowers.
Seed - sow February to May in situ or as soon as it is ripe in situ and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually rapid. Division in spring. Cuttings, summer, in a cold frame.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Centranthus ruber  

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