Country of Origin: United States
is a perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century. Native to Europe and parts of Asia, valerian has been introduced into North America. The flowers are frequently visited by many fly species, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. It is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species including the Grey Pug.
Rough extract of valerian root is sold as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules. Valerian root may have sedative and anxiolytic effects and has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the “envy” of the elves.