Centranthus ruber var. coccineus

Red valerian

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Key information

Plant type

Hardy perennial

Flower colour



Flowers, Attractive to wildlife



Skill level


Centranthus ruber var. coccineus

Plant details

Centranthus ruber is a delightful perennial wildflower, bearing grey-green leaves and dense clusters of crimson, pink or white, slightly fragrant flowers from late spring to autumn. It's incredibly easy to grow and is a magnet for pollinators. 

Centranthus ruber var. coccineus is slightly more compact than the species, and has cherry red flowers. It makes an excellent cut flower.

Plants look best grown en masse on banks or when allowed to self-seed in walls and paving, where they create a delightful random, natural effect. A background of stone gives them an ideal setting, or they can be teamed with other cottage garden flowers in a border, such as lime-loving gypsophila, pinks and scabious.

For best results grow Centranthus ruber var. coccineus in well-drained soil in full sun.

Family: Valerianaceae

Genus: Centranthus

Species: ruber

Plant type: Hardy perennial

Flower colour: Red

Foliage colour: Blue-green

Feature: Flowers, Attractive to wildlife

Sun exposure: Full sun

Soil: Well-drained/light, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Sandy

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 100cm

Spread: 100cm

Time to plant seeds: March to May

Time to divide plants: March to April

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