Red Valerian - Centranthus ruber


Tufted medium to tall greyish and somewhat fleshy and waxy looking plant. Leaves lanceolate to oval, pointed or blunt, the uppermost slightly toothed at the base and clasping the stem. Flowers red (can be pink or white) funnel shaped, 8 to 12 mm, in large panicles, fragrant, spurred at the base.

Identification difficulty

Walls and banks.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History

Perennial - Sometimes becomes established in the wild as a garden escape. It can be seen on the stone faces of some disused quarries in our area.

UK Status

Naturalised in Britain north to southern Scotland, especially in south-western areas.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 22 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Red Valerian
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
10/06/2006 (Calow, Graham)
Last record:
19/10/2023 (Smith, Peter)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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Photo of the association

Trioza centranthi

Whilst the adults can be very difficult to identify without detailed examination, the reddish larval leaf roll galls on Valerian are quite distinctive.