Common valerian Valeriana officinalis, photographed by Peter Wakeham.

Belongs within: Dipsacales.

The Valerianaceae, valerians, is a family of herbaceous plants found in most parts of the world. Significant members include garden valerian Valeriana officinalis and corn salad Valerianella locusta. Valerianella locusta is a small annual plant with dark green, spatulate leaves that are eaten as a salad green.

Characters (from Black & Robertson 1965): Herbs with opposite exstipulate leaves. Flowers more or less irregular, bisexual or unisexual; calyx and corolla inserted at summit of receptacle; calyx inconspicuous in flower, becoming toothed or developing into plumose pappus; corolla funnel-shaped, five-lobed, sometimes spurred at base; one to three stamens, inserted in corolla-tube; ovary inferior, adnate to receptacle, with three cells of which only one contains a pendulous anatropous ovule; style filiform with one to three stigmas; fruit dry, indehiscent, seed-like, crowned by persistent calyx, with one fertile cella and one exalbuminous seed; embryo straight, with superior radicle.

<==Valerianaceae [Valerianeae]
    |--Triplostegia [Triplostegioideae] T00
    |--Stangea YY22
    |--Phuodendron YY22
    |--Belonanthus YY22
    |--Nardostachys grandiflora O88
    |--Fedia BR65
    |    |--F. cornucopiae BR65
    |    `--F. olitoria C55b
    |--Centranthus BR65
    |    |--C. calcitrapae PT98
    |    |--C. macrosiphon Y98
    |    `--C. ruber BR65
    |--Plectritis H93
    |    |--P. brachystemon (see below for synonymy) H93
    |    |--P. ciliosa H93
    |    |    |--P. c. ssp. ciliosa [=P. californica var. ciliosa; incl. P. macroptera] H93
    |    |    `--P. c. ssp. insignis (see below for synonymy) H93
    |    |--P. congesta H93
    |    `--P. macrocera (see below for synonymy) H93
    |--Valerianella GR98
    |    |--V. carinata C55b
    |    |--V. coronata PT98
    |    |--V. discoidea BR65
    |    |--V. eriocarpa BR65
    |    |--V. lasiocarpa GR98
    |    |--V. locusta [incl. V. olitoria] H93
    |    |--V. obtusiloba PT98
    |    |--V. truncata BR65
    |    `--V. vesicaria PT98
    `--Valeriana [Valerianoideae] B14
         |--V. barbulata O88
         |--V. californica [=V. capitata ssp. californica] H93
         |--V. carnosa D03
         |--V. fauriei K03
         |--V. foncki D03
         |--V. hardwickii O88
         |--V. lapathifolia D03
         |--V. occidentalis H93
         |--V. officinalis K03
         |--V. pubicarpa H93
         |--V. pyrenaica C55b
         |--V. saliunea C55a
         |--V. saxatilis PS98
         |--V. scandens J87
         |--V. sitchensis H93
         |    |--V. s. ssp. sitchensis H93
         |    `--V. s. ssp. scouleri H93
         |--V. tuberosa B14
         `--V. virescens D03

Plectritis brachystemon [incl. P. anomala, P. aphanoptera, P. anomala var. gibbosa, P. magna, P. congesta var. major, P. magna var. nitida] H93

Plectritis ciliosa ssp. insignis [incl. P. ciliosa var. davyana, P. macroptera var. patelliformis, P. californica var. rubens] H93

Plectritis macrocera [incl. P. macrocera var. collina, P. eichleriana, P. macrocera var. grayi, P. jepsonii, P. macrocera var. mamillata] H93

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BR65] Black, J. M., & E. L. Robertson. 1965. Flora of South Australia. Part IV. Oleaceae-Compositae. W. L. Hawes, Government Printer: Adelaide.

[B14] Bouchard, P. (ed.) 2014. The Book of Beetles: A lifesize guide to six hundred of nature's gems. Ivy Press: Lewes (United Kingdom).

[C55a] Candolle, A. de. 1855a. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 1. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[C55b] Candolle, A. de. 1855b. Géographie Botanique Raisonée: Ou exposition des faits principaux et des lois concernant la distribution géographique des plantes de l’époque actuelle vol. 2. Librairie de Victor Masson: Paris.

[D03] Dusén, P. 1903. The vegetation of western Patagonia. In: Scott, W. B. (ed.) Reports of the Princeton University Expeditions to Patagonia, 1896–1899 vol. 8. Botany pp. 1–34. The University: Princeton (New Jersey).

[GR98] Greuter, W., & T. Raus (eds.) 1998. Med-Checklist Notulae, 17. Willdenowia 28: 163–174.

[H93] Hickman, J. C. (ed.) 1993. The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California. University of California Press: Berkeley (California).

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum—Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1–136.

[K03] Kårehed, J. 2003. The family Pennantiaceae and its relationships to Apiales. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 141: 1–24.

[O88] Ohba, H. 1988. The alpine flora of the Nepal Himalayas: an introductory note. In: Ohba, H., & S. B. Malla (eds) The Himalayan Plants vol. 1. The University Museum, University of Tokyo, Bulletin 31: 19–46.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95–116.

[PS98] Prosser, F., & S. Scortegagna. 1998. Primula recubariensis, a new species of Primula sect. Auricula Duby endemic to the SE Prealps, Italy. Willdenowia 28: 27–46.

[T00] Thorne, R. F. 2000. The classification and geography of the flowering plants: dicotyledons of the class Angiospermae (subclasses Magnoliidae, Ranunculidae, Caryophyllidae, Dilleniidae, Rosidae, Asteridae, and Lamiidae). The Botanical Review 66: 441–647.

[YY22] Yampolsky, C., & H. Yampolsky. 1922. Distribution of sex forms in the phanerogamic flora. Bibliotheca Genetica 3: 1–62.

[Y98] Yannitsaros, A. 1998. Additions to the flora of Kithira (Greece) I. Willdenowia 28: 77–94.

Last updated: 15 November 2018.

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