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Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

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Comment from Nigel Taylor

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Being a retired nurseryman I think I have a reasonable knowledge of plants, but I have never seen this umbellifer before. A friend has it self-seeding in his garden. It is a good 5+ feet high, has a slight pink flush to the white flowers which have a slight fragrance. Pinnate leaves are mostly basal, sparse up the stems. I am looking forward to getting my hands on some seeds and I'd love to know what it is!

Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer beforeNever seen this 5 foot umbellifer beforeNever seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

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  • Views: 464
  • Replies: 5
  • Posted: Sat. 16th June 2018 19:01

Re: Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

Reply from Nicola

Hi Nigel, one helpful follower on our social media thinks this may be Valerian. I hope that helps?

  • Posted: Sun. 17th June 2018 07:53

Re: Re: Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

Reply from Carol

It it is, and it looks like it, get a nose into it in the late afternoon/ early evening. There should be more than slight fragrance. Mine used to scent the garden over a range of 4 metres.

  • Posted: Sun. 17th June 2018 08:38

Re: Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

Reply from Nigel Taylor

Well now, this has been very educational! When I saw the two suggestions that it might be valerian I thought 'No way. This plant is over 5 feet tall'. My immediate thought was that the reference was to the white form ('albus') of the red-flowered plant that we commonly call valerian (Centranthus ruber).

I was about to shrug my shoulders and resign myself to waiting for more replies when I thought I would do a little Internet digging. I googled 'white valerian' and there I found multiple images of two clearly different plants. One was obviously the plant I have already mentioned, but lo and behold the other looked much more promising - Valeriana officinalis, which is also (much more logically) called valerian. And this is indeed the plant in question. So thank you, Carol and Nicola. You are spot on, and I'm sorry I doubted you initially! I'm eagerly awaiting receiving seed from my friend before long.

  • Posted: Sun. 17th June 2018 14:24

Re: Re: Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

Reply from Nicola

Hi Nigel, so delighted you got the answer you were looking for and mystery solved! All the best, Nicola

  • Posted: Sun. 17th June 2018 19:45

Re: Never seen this 5 foot umbellifer before

Reply from pauline

I don't think you need to worry too much about taking seeds! I have a pink form of this plant in my garden and it produces masses of fluffy seeds which blow everywhere. The flowers (which haven't appeared on my plants yet this year) are a magnet for bees, etc.

  • Posted: Tue. 19th June 2018 09:37