MARSH VALERIAN

Valeriana dioica

Valerian Family [Valerianaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8white
flower
flower8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZclustered
stem
stem8round
sex
sexZdioecious

10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
Much shorter than Common Valeria, at up to 40cm. Basal leaves are oval, as seen here.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
An un-branched plant with what looks like several umbels of pink to white flowers.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
Un-like Common Valerian, the leaves are rounded at the ends.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
Near the summit is a central larger bunch of flowers, and two smaller satellite either side. Directly beneath where stems bifurcate are a couple of opposite leaves with rounded ends.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
Lower down the stem other paired satellite flowering stems may occur, with progressively larger oppositely-paired pinnate leaves.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
The end lobe of the leaves are wider than the rest un-like those on Common Valerian as well as being rounded at the ends (rather than pointed).


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
 Flowers white to pale to dark-pink with five petals.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
 It is dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. This specimen has stamens and anthers so is male.


10th May 2014, Basecamp, High Wray, Windermere, Cumbria Photo: © RWD
 The flowers are small and in tight clusters. Male flowers (as here) are, at 4-6mm, about twice the size of the 2-4mm of female flowers. A very small raindrop sits atop an anther. The large (in comparison) anthers have dropped off some of the flowers. Other flower buds have yet to open (right).


Can be confused with : Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) [but see caption text and below]

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature :

Although Common Valerian also grows in damp places such as damp grassland, woods and in dry grassland, Marsh Valerian grows only in marshes, marshy grassland, fens and bogs. It is also, at up to 40cm, much shorter than Common Valerian which stands up to 2m. The other main distinction are the oval basal leaves of Marsh Valerian, and also the shape of the stem leaves, which, in opposite pairs and pinnate like Common Valerian, have leaflets with rounded (rather than pointed) and a broader end leaflet. The pinnate stem leaflets of Marsh Valerian are also un-toothed whereas those of Common Valerian (especially those lower down the plant) have a few irregular forward-pointing teeth. Whereas Common Valerian is bisexual Marsh Valerian is dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate plants.


  Valeriana dioica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Valerianaceae  

Distribution
 family8Valerian family8Valerianaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Valeriana
Valeriana
(Valerians)

MARSH VALERIAN

Valeriana dioica

Valerian Family [Valerianaceae]