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Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)


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Common Valerian is an upright plant with few branches. The main stem is angular and usually hairy towards the bottom. The lower leaves have long stalks the upper leaves are stalkless. The leaves are divided into pairs of opposite leaflets. The curves flower tube has a pouch towards the base. the style and three stamens extend beyond the tube. The flowers can be pink or white. In world war 1 the juice of valarian roots was used to calm those upset by air raids. It has also been used as a sedative. In some European countries valarian tea is drunk to calm nerves. The plant flowers from June to August. Picture taken June 10th 2006 at Old Warden, Bedfordshire.

11th Jun 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

Key Stages:
Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

Plant flower wildlife

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