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 Valerian family
Garden Valerian
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > Magnoliophyta > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > Magnoliopsida > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Dipsacales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Valerianaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[{{{genus}}}]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} {{{species}}} {{{subspecies}}} var. {{{cultivar}}}

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Valerianaceae (from the genus Valeriana, a word of uncertain origin). Valerian Family. Fig. 55. Annual or perennial herbs, often strongly scented: leaves basal and cauline, the latter opposite, simple or pinnate: flowers bisexual or unisexual, regular or irregular, epigynous; calyx of 1-3 minute, but often accrescent, sepals; corolla 5-, rarely S-4-, lobed, gamopetalous, often produced into a spur at the base; lobes imbricated; stamens 1-4, rarely 5, epipetalous, exserted; ovary inferior, 3-celled, only 1 cell maturing; seed 1; style 1; stigmas 3: fruit dry, indehiscent, 1-seeded.

Eight genera and about 280 species are known, mostly in the north temperate regions of the Old World, especially in the region just north of the Mediterranean, and in South America, where the genus Valeriana is mostly distributed. The family is related to the Dipsacaceae and the Caprifoliaceae, and more remotely to the Compositae. The epigynous, gamopetalous flower, separate stamens, 3 carpels and 1-seeded fruit are distinctive.

Valeriana officinalis is a powerful nerve sedative with a peculiar odor. Many other Valerianaceae are used as local remedies for the same purpose. The foliage of various species of Valerianella (lamb's lettuce, corn salad) is eaten as a salad, less commonly as a pot-herb.

In this country few genera are in cultivation: Patrinia as a pot-herb; Centranthus (Red Valerian, Jupiter's Beard) and Valeriana (Valerian) as ornamental plants; and Valerianella (Corn Salad, Fetticus) for food.CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


The genera of this family contains about 350 species in 7 generawp:

C. ruber (Red Valerian, Spur Valerian or Red Spur Valerian)
F. cornucopiae (African valerian, Horn of plenty)
N. jatamansi (Spikenard)
V. dioica (Marsh valerian)
V. officinalis (Garden Valerian)
V. locusta (Corn salad, Lamb's lettuce)


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