Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Valeriana occidentalis A. Heller
- Family: Valerian (Valerianaceae)
- Flowering: May-September
- Field Marks: The distinguishing features of this species are the pinnate opposite leaves and the tuft of white hairs at the nodes on the stem.
- Habitat: Wet meadows, moist soil.
- Habit: Perennial herb from rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, up to 2 1/2 feet tall, smooth or nearly so except for a tuft of white hairs at the nodes.
- Leaves: Basal and opposite on the stem, simple or pinnately divided into as many as 13 segments, oblong to narrowly ovate, smooth or nearly so.
- Flowers: Several crowded in a terminal cyme, the cyme up to 2 1/2 inches long; bracts up to 1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: Nearly absent and inconspicuous in flower, developing into as many as 16 plume-like bristles during fruiting.
- Petals: 5, white, united below, 1/8-1/6 inch long.
- Stamens: 3, attached to the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes linear to narrowly oblong, tan, up to 1/4 inch long, with plumose bristles at the top.
- Notes: The leaves and stems are browsed by deer and elk.
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