Red valerian (Centranthus ruber)
Photo by Flickr user Andrey Zharkikh

red valerian


  • This plant has a Plant Risk Evaluator rating of High Potential Risk


Native to the Mediterranean, red valerian blooms in late spring and early summer. Typical colors range from deep crimson to pale pink. The cultivar 'Albus' has white blooms. Leaves are bluish and about 4 inches long. To prevent self-sowing, cut off old flowering stems.

The Calflora map shows its current distribution in California outside of cultivation.

Why is this plant not included on the invasive plant list?

Red valerian was surveyed for as part of the 2017 survey and was found at 6.6% of nurseries. We found several cultivars, including · ‘Rosenrot’, ‘Coccineus’, ‘White', ‘White + Red’, ‘Rosy Red', ‘Albus’, ‘Roseus’, and ‘Alba’.

Red valerian is popular for Mediterranean gardens, and seems to be more of a roadside weed than a serious threat to California's ecosystems. It has not become naturalized in less disturbed habitats. Therefore we decided that the risk from this plant is too low to add it to the plant list, and having it as a Plant to Watch is sufficient.

More information

For more information about this plant, please see the following resources: