Himalayan Valerian
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Himalayan Valerian
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Himalayan Valerian
Botanical name: Valeriana himalayana    Family: Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle family)

Himalayan Valerian is a herb 11-38 cm tall, characterized by compact heads of pink flowers atop upright stem. Rootstock has slender roots. Flowering stems are solitary or 2-3, hairless, channelled. Nodes are minutely hairy. Basal leaves are entire or somewhat toothed, oblong to round, 1-2.5 cm x 0.8-1.6 cm; nerves prominent; stalk up to 6.5 cm long. Lower stem leaves are pinnately cut with 1-3 lateral lobes, the terminal one largest, ovate-oblong to elliptic-ovate, entire or slightly toothed. The uppermost stem-leaves have narrower segments. Flowers are borne in dichotomous corymbs or compact heads, pink or white. Upper bracts are lanceshaped, about 4 mm long, pointed or blunt. Ovary is hairless, stigma 2-3-fid. Seedpods are 2.5-3 mm long, hairless, shorter than the upper bracts. Himalayan Valerian is fairly common in marshy or moist places, also in shade, among rocks or meadows in Western Himalayas. from 3500-5000 m. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed enroute to Hemkund, Uttarakhand.

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