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Valeriana acutiloba

Valeriana acutiloba Rydb.

Downy-fruit Valerian, Sharpleaf Valerian

Valerianaceae (Valerian Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Small, slightly bilaterally symmetrical, white flowers in branched clusters atop a stem with largest leaves at base.

The mostly undivided, basal leaves help distinguish this from other similar species, which have divided leaves. This species is variable, and by some botanists is divided into at least three species: Cordilleran Valerian (V. acutiloba), the most southwesterly, has hairless leaves and stems; Downy-fruit Valerian (V. pubicarpa), more westerly, has hairless leaves but hairy stems; California Valerian (V. californica), also westerly, has hairy leaves and stems. Valeriana comes from the Latin valere ("to be strong") and refers to the medicinal qualities of the plants. Extracts were used as a nerve tonic and are said, under certain circumstances, to relax better than opium. Valerian was one of 72 ingredients Mithridates, king of Pontus in the second century b.c., compounded as an antidote to poison, using poisoned slaves as test subjects.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Native Distribution: Southwestern Montana southwest to northern California, southern Sierra Nevada, northern Arizona, and New Mexico.
Native Habitat: Open, rocky slopes in mountains, often near water or snowbanks.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Valeriana acutiloba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Valeriana acutiloba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Valeriana acutiloba


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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