This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, spurred flower). Valerian-acese. Centranth. Annual and perennial herbs, one of which is frequent in old gardens.
Leaves opposite, entire, dentate, or pinnatisect: flowers in dense clusters, small, red or white, terminating the branches; calyx cut into 5-15 narrow divisions, enlarging after flowering; corolla slender-tubed, 5-parted, spurred at the base; stamen 1; flowers with a pappus-like crest. - About a dozen species in the Medit. region, some of them sometimes half shrubby. C. ruber, the common garden species, sometimes escapes and becomes more or less spontaneous.
DC. Red Valerian. Jupiter's Beard. Perennial, 1-3 ft., smooth and glaucous, forming a compact and floriferous bushy plant: leaves ovate to lanceolate, some of them toothed at base but mostly entire: flowers numerous, deep crimson to pale red, fragrant. Eu., E. -A very handsome old garden plant, too much neglected; blooms all summer; excellent for cutting. Increased by division; also by seeds. There is a white-flowered form (variety albus).
DC. Perennial, glaucous, to 2 ft., simple or somewhat branched: leaves linear-lanceolate or linear, very entire, nearly perfoliate: flowers clear rose, fragrant. S. Eu. - There is a white-flowered form (variety albus).
Boiss. Annual, of easy cult, in any good soil: 1-2 ft.: leaves ovate, glaucous, toothed: flowers larger than in the last, deep rose. Spain. - There are white-fid. (variety albus) and dwarf (variety nanus) forms. Excellent for rockeries and borders; also for lawn vases. L. H. B