Herbs with opposite leaves and no stipules. Calyx adherent, the limb either membranous or resembling a pappus. Corolla tubular or funnel-form, 4 to 5-lobed, sometimes spurred at base. Stamens distinct, inserted into the corolla tube, alternate with, and generally fewer than its lobes. Ovary inferior, with one perfect cell and two abortive ones. Seeds solitary, pendulous, in a dry, indehiscent pericarp.
Genera 12, species 185, widely diffused in temperate climates. The true valerian of the shops, used in hysteria, epilepsy, etc., is a product of Valeriana officinalis. The roots of several other species possess a heavy odor, and are tonic, antispasmodic, febrifugal, etc. The spikenard (John xii. 3, &c). of old, valued as a perfume and a stimulant, is from the root of Nardostachys Jatamansi.
1. VALERIA'NA, L. Valerian. (To King Valerius, a patron and friend of botanists.) Calyx limb at first very small, involute, at length evolving a plumous pappus; corolla funnel-form, regular, 5-cleft; stamens 3 ; fruit 1-celled, l-seeded -Ц Lvs. opposite, mostly pinnately divided. Fls. in close cymes.
* Leaves and leflets broad, somewhat ovate........
* Leaves and leflets narrow and nearly linear..........
1 V. pauciflora Mx. Glabrous, erect or decumbent, often stoloniferous at base, radical lvs. ovate, cordate, slightly acuminate, on long petioles, crenate-serrate, cauline, 3 to 7-parted; lfts. ovate, terminal one much the largest; cymules few-flowered, corymbous; corolla tube long (7 to 8'), and slender. - Ohio to Va. and Tenn. St. mostly simple, 1 to 2f high. Lvs. of the succors mostly undivided, . 1 to 1 3/4' by 3/4 to 1 1/2', petioles 1 to 4' long. Fls. pale purple or white. Jn., Jl
2 V. sylvatica L. St. erect, striate, simple; radical lvs. ovate or subspatulate (never cordate), undivided; cauline one pinnately divided; segm. ovate-lanceolate, entire or subserrate, the terminal one often dentate; cor. short (3 to 4"); fr. ovate, compressed, smooth. - St. 1 to 2f high. Swamps, Vt. to Mich., very rare. Lvs. filiate with scattered hairs, those of the root petioled, sometimes atiriculate at base, those of the stem with 4 to 8 lateral segm. and a largo terminal one. Fls. numerous, rose-colored, appearing in July.
3 V. edulis Nutt. Simple, smooth, and somewhat fleshy; rt. lvs. linear, spatu-late, entire, the cauline pinnately cleft into 3 to 7 lance-linear, acute segm., margins densely and minutely ciliate, mostly attenuated to the base, panicle compound; cor. short (2 to 3"); fr. compressed, 4-ribbed, crowned with the late cal. limb of 10 or 12 plumous setae. - Low grounds, Can., Wis., Ohio. Rt. yellowish, fusiform. St. 1 to 3f high. Rt. lvs. many, 3 to 8' long, segm. 2 to 4" wide. Fls. white, in a dense panicle which is greatly expanded in fruit. Jn. - The fleshy root is said to be cooked and eaten by the Indians. (V. ciliata T. & G.)
4 V. officinalis L. Valerian. Lvs. all pinnate; lfts. lance-linear or lanceolate, the lateral and terminal similar, nearly entire; cor. small, short (2"), in a crowded, compound cyme. - From Europe. It yields the valerian of the shops.
2. VALERIANEL'LA, Moench. DC. (Lat. diminutive of Valeriana.) Calyx limb obsolete; corolla tube short, not spurred, limb 5-lobed, regular ; stamens 3 ; stigmas 3-cleft or entire ; fruit 3-celled, 2 of them empty and more or less inflated, the other with one seed. - (1) Stems forked above. Lvs. opposite, oblong or linear, entire or toothed, sessile. Fls. in dense, terminal cymelets. The specific characters are afforded mainly by the fruit.
* Fruit ovate in outline, glabrous or pubescent. Flowers white............
* Fruit orbicular, glabrous, - compressed dorsally. Flowers white..........
- compressed laterally. Flowers blue...........
1 V. Fagopyrum. Lvs. oblong-spatulate, subentire; fr. smooth, ovoid-triangular, the empty cells converging to the obtuse angle, with no groove between them; fls. large (l 1/2" broad). - West N. Y. to Ohio. St. 8 to 18' in height. Bracts lanceolate, acute. Fr. resembling that of Buckwheat (Polygonum Fagopyrum,) in form, containing one large seed and two empty cells. Fls. thrice larger than in the next. Fr. 11/2" long. Jn. (Fedia,T. & G.)
2 V. radiata Dufr. Lvs. mostly toothed towards the base, linear-oblong, obtuse; fr. pubescent, ovoid, somewhat 4-angled, 1-toothed at apex; empty cells not convergent, but with a groove between them; futile cell flattish, broader than the other 2; fls. small (1/2" wide). - Low grounds, Mich., Ohio, to Ala. St. 6 to 12 high, dichotomous like the other species, smooth. Lvs. oblong, more or less tapering to the base, 1 to 2' by 2 to 4". Fr. less than 1" long, at length nearly smooth. (Fedia, Mx.)
3 V. umbilicata (Sull.) Lvs. oblong-lanceolate, toothed or incised at the base; fr. subglobous, inflated, apex 1-toothed, the anterior face deeply umbilicate and perforated into the sterile cells which are much larger than the fertile one. - Moist grounds, Columbus, Ohio, (Sullivant). Plant smooth, 1 to 2f high, many times dichotomous. Fls. in numerous cymules, corymbously arranged. Fr. nearly 1" diam., with 1 rib at the back produced into a tooth at apex (Fedia, Sull.)
4 V. patellaria (Sull.) Lvs. toothed at base; fr. obicular, much flattened, concave, notched at both ends, the sterile cells widely divergent, at length forming a winged margin to the fertile cells. - Wet grounds near Columbus, Ohio, (Sullivant). Eesembles the last except in its fruit. (Fedia, Sull.)
5 V. olitoria Mcench. Lamb Lettuce. Lvs. spatulate-obtuse, radical one petio-late; fr. compressed laterally as to the seed, oblique, at length broader than long, not toothed at apex; fertile cell longer than both the others, with a corky back ; empty cells united, but with a groove (in the circumference) between; fls. pale blue. - Naturalized in some portions of the U. S. St. smooth, 8 to 12' high, dichotomous. Lvs. mostly entire. Fls. in dense cymules. Fr. 1' diam. Jn.† §Eur.