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Valeriana acutiloba
Valeriana acutiloba

 Valeriana acutiloba. Synonym: Valeriana capitata subspecies acutiloba. (Valerian)
Caprifoliaceae.
Synonym: Valerianaceae. (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, openings. Summer.
Lower Stoner Mesa Trail, May 26, 2004.

Valerian is a slim, tall plant with a very conspicuous white-to-purple flower cluster balanced perfectly above its stem. Opposite leaves appear only once or twice along the stem.  Valerian is a common early summer flower and often is thickly scattered over small forest openings and meadows.

"Valerian" refers either to a Roman Emperor or (more probably) to the Latin word for strength, "valere", referring to the belief in Valerian’s potency as a nerve tonic and relaxant.  "Capitata" (as in "decapitate") refers to the rounded "head-shaped" flower.

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and Rydberg collected the first of this species in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Eastern Colorado around 1900 and named the plant Valeriana acutiloba.  Frederick Meyer renamed the plant Valeriana capitata in 1951.

Valeriana acutiloba

Valeriana acutiloba

Valeriana acutiloba

Valeriana acutiloba. Synonym: Valeriana capitata subspecies acutiloba. (Valerian)
Caprifoliaceae.
Synonym: Valerianaceae. (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, openings. Summer.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 16, 2005.

Flower heads begin somewhat pancake flattened and pink and gradually open to a half sphere and white.

The shape of individual flowers is difficult to discern until almost all have fallen and
then the few  remaining show their form.
Valeriana acutiloba

                                                                                                               

                   

Valeriana acutiloba

Valeriana acutiloba. Synonym: Valeriana capitata subspecies acutiloba. (Valerian)
Caprifoliaceae.
Synonym: Valerianaceae. (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, openings. Summer.
Ryman Creek Trail, June 16, 2005.

Valeriana acutiloba
Valeriana acutiloba. Synonym: Valeriana capitata subspecies acutiloba. (Valerian)
Caprifoliaceae.
Synonym: Valerianaceae. (Honeysuckle Family)

Montane, subalpine. Meadows, openings. Summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, June 14, 2006.

These feathery-looking seed-heads are the elongated flower styles and are very similar to those of Valeriana edulis.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Valeriana acutiloba