At once a statuesque perennial and a useful medicinal herb, valerian (Valeriana officinalis
) is found in moist meadows throughout France. I treasure this plant for its handsome divided foliage, tinged with burgundy red, and especially for its blossoms, which resemble giant Queen Anne's lace, except that they are tinted with palest pink to lavendar, and are sweetly fragrant from a distance. Their scent is why this plant sometimes goes by the name of 'garden heliotrope.'
Valerian root has been used for centuries--and is still used--as a safe, mild sleep-inducer. It has a very pungent odor.
This is a tall plant--at least 3 feet. Plant the seed by pressing it onto the surface of the soil. It prefers a moist, rich spot, but will grow in almost any location. Sun suits it best. Sow the seed from spring through late summer. Valerian seeds are carried on the wind and you will have seedlings popping up here and there unless you deadhead before the seeds are ripe. This is a vigorous, easy plant to grow.
I've searched for a year to find the right source of French native wildflower seeds to offer you. Here they are! Certified organically grown, these seeds are produced on a family flower farm in the Massif Central
. One hundred percent of the process is artisanal, right down to the seed packets which are decorated with drawings of the content plants by the owner.
Size: 1 g (about 700 seeds)