Bell-wort. A genus of little beauty and easy culture. We have a number of indigenous species found growing in the margin of woods and thickets.
A plant, about one foot high. Stem smooth, round, running through the leaves, furnishing a good example of the perfoliate leaves. Flowers pendulous, pale-yellow, in May; perennial.
Similar to the foregoing, but larger; the leaves narrower, the flowers brighter yellow and smooth inside. This is one of the prettiest of the genus, and worth cultivating; hardy perennial.
[Name from valere, to have efficacy, on account of its medicinal qualities.l
The species are generally ornamental garden plants of easy culture in common earth, and preferring a shady, moist situation.
Valeriana dioica, has usually the stamens and pistils in separate flowers, situated on different plants. This species, and V. officinalis, are medicinal. Cats are delighted with the roots, and rat-catchers employ them as they do the oil of anise, to draw rats together.
This is an esteemed border-flower; perennial, growing to the height of three or four feet, with large corymbs of white flowers; highly fragant; more cultivated for that property than for their beauty.
This is a handsome species with umbels of light-red flowers, growing about three feet high.
[An alteration of the Latin barbascum.]
No doubt, this species will be considered by many as hardly ornamental. Everybody knows this tall and very common plant, with, leaves exceedingly wooly on both sides, with its long, thick, cylindrical spikes, with handsome five-parted flowers, abundant in dry pastures; in July and August. Most of the European species are biennial; a few perennial, and some quite desirable for the garden.
V. phaeniceum, is a native of the South of Europe, a handsome hardy perennial, growing three feet high, with elongated racemes of purple flowers.
This is a native of Britain, biennial, and a magnificent plant, sending up a stem a yard high, covered with many hundreds of gold-colored flowers; leaves powdery, ovate-oblong, sub-serrate.
An indigenous species, two or three feet high. . Flowers in a long terminal raceme, yellow or white, marked with purple; stamens covered with purple hairs. This plant is said to have the power of driving away the blatta, or cockroach. Propagated from seed.