London (change)
16 messages
08/06/2013 at 21:53

A plant which started growing last year and this year has grown to at least 1.5m.  It now has small pale pink flowers growing in a cluster like an umbelliferous plant. The flowers have a scent, slightly sweet with just a hint of sharpness - not unpleasant.  The main stem is similar to a parsley plant when it bolts and is about 1cm in diameter.  The foliage is dark green and leafy. 


08/06/2013 at 21:58

Are there any photos Sonia? That description could cover a lot of plants, not all umbelliferous

08/06/2013 at 22:10


08/06/2013 at 22:21

I'd say its Valerian. Valeriana officinalis. Lovely smell from a few feet back but not so great close to?

Not the same as the red, pink or white flower that grows on cliffs also referred to as Valerian bit is Centranthus rubra. Something else altogether

08/06/2013 at 22:23
I have that in my garden too and have seen it in several open gardens but no idea what it is.
08/06/2013 at 22:26

Could do with a pic of the whole planttoreally be sure but the height is right and the flowers too. Scent is a bit subjective

08/06/2013 at 22:51

why don't you Google it, that way you'll get a photo as well that you can compare to yours ????

08/06/2013 at 22:58

cow parsley, maybe??

09/06/2013 at 00:54

Or Achilliea? Just thinking about the leaves which could be described as "parsley-ish" A full photo would be good

09/06/2013 at 07:37

definitely valerian - valeriana officinalis!

09/06/2013 at 07:45

I was just thinking that I might get some of this for my garden when I read that it is attractive to cats in the same way that catnip is - having just come in from the veg patch where I found a visiting cat has dug up and destroyed some of my emerging runner beans, I think that's one plant I'll give a miss 

09/06/2013 at 15:43

Thank you all for your help.  I have googled and to confirm nutcutlet's theory it is valeriana officinalis.  It must have been lurking in the compost of an achillea I planted  which has now been buried beneath it now!  My two cats so far haven't shown interest but they do in valerian tea which is made of the root I believe. 

If anyone wishes to grow it you will require a fair amount of space in terms of height and width.  Its foliage started growing last year but this year has shot up and produced flowers.  I think it's a bit like a Marmite plant - you either love it or hate it!

09/06/2013 at 16:46

If you can promise me it's not luring every cat from the neighbourhood into your garden to do nefarious deeds, I might reconsider .... 

09/06/2013 at 17:44

I've got lots Dove, never noticed any feline interest but there aren't a lot of cats around here.

26/06/2013 at 15:50

cats seem to be fascinated by its roots ... so if you do not want to attract them, don´t disturb those ...

26/06/2013 at 15:54

I just love it, by the way ... wild valerian grows all along the hedgegrows and roads in my area - very pretty this time of the year ... later the stalks turn a pinkish red which is nice as well ...

email image
16 messages