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Centranthus ruber (L.) DC.
Red Valerian

Lam. & DC., Fl.Franç. Ed.3,4:239 (1805)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Perennial, herb or shrub, 0.3-1 m high. Fl. pink/pink-red/white, Jul or Oct to Dec or Jan to Mar. Loam over granite, black or calcareous sand, laterite. Granite outcrops, slopes, roadsides.

Amanda Spooner, Descriptive Catalogue, 1 April 1997


IBRA Regions
Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.
IBRA Subregions
Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.
IMCRA Regions
WA South Coast.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Armadale, Augusta Margaret River, Boddington, Bridgetown-Greenbushes, Busselton, Collie, Denmark, Esperance, Kalamunda, Manjimup, Plantagenet, Rockingham.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Valerian, Red Spur Valerian, Jupiter's Beard.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also rhizomes. Dispersal. Contaminated soil, garden waste.

Notes. Widely cultivated as an ornamental. Self-seeds and frequently becomes naturalised from planted areas. Flowers are monoecious (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees, moths and butterflies. Prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Drought tolerant when established. Can tolerate salt exposure. Generally long-lived. Several forms are cultivated including 'albus' a compact white flowering form, 'coccineus' dark red fowering and 'roseus' with rose pink flowers.

Additional information. Origin. Mediterranean. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, cut flower.

Suggested method of management and control. Seedlings may be handpulled and smaller plants grubbed out. Try metsulfuron methyl 0.15 g/10 L (5 g/ha) + Pulse® before flowering OR Logran® at 12.5 g/100L + the penetrant Pulse ® is very effective on adults and juveniles with little offtarget damage in coastal heathlands. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth         U U U U U U U    
Germination           U U U U        
Flowering Y Y Y             Y Y Y  
Fruiting Y Y Y                 Y  
Manual Removal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment           Y Y Y Y O      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



  • Branca, F. (1998) The germination process in two species of ornamental interest: Centranthus ruber DC. and Euphorbia characias L. Sementi Elette, 44: 25-30.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Starr, F., Starr, K. & Loope, L. (2003) Centranthus ruber, Red Valerian, Valerianaceae. URL: - Accessed March 2010.
  • Swarbrick, J.T. & Skarratt, D.B. (1994) The bushweed 2 database of environmental weeds in Australia. The University of Queensland, Gatton College.