Hardy, herbaceous perennial
Description: Rose-pink, funnel-shaped flowers borne in dense clusters; flowers freely from late spring through late summer; blue-green foliage
Habit: Clump-forming plants grow to 3 feet high and wide
Culture: Prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained, moderately fertile, alkaline soil; best to deadhead regularly
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Origin: Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Turkey
Attributes: Attracts butterflies, Drought tolerant
This showy perennial, also known as Jupiter's Beard, Pretty Betsy, and Keys of Heaven, is native to the Mediterranean regions of Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Turkey. Red Valerian, not to be confused with True Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), was used in ancient times in primitive embalming practices. It forms a many-branched, woody-based plant with fleshy, blue-green foliage and dense clusters of flowers that attract butterflies and re-seed readily if happy. Philadelphia nurseryman Bernard McMahon listed this perennial as "Valeriana rubra - Red Garden Valerian" in his American Gardener's Calendar, 1806.