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Valeriana sitchensis (Mountain helioptrope)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn

Valeriana sitchensis

Valeriana sitchensis Bong.

Mountain Helioptrope, Sitka Valerian

Valerianaceae (Valerian Family)

Synonym(s): Valeriana sitchensis ssp. sitchensis, Valeriana sitchensis var. hookeri


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

A conspicuous, stately perennial with a 2-3 ft. stalk bearing opposite leaves with coarsely toothed leaflets, and a rounded clusters of small, tubular, aromatic flowers. The flowers are generally white but may have a pinkish tinge. Stamens protrude conspicuously. In fruit, each flower is transformed into a tiny, plumed parachute.

In subalpine meadows where the protection of trees and other taller vegetation is lacking, Sitka Valerian may be only 6-10 in. tall.


From the Image Gallery

8 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , CA , ID , MT , OR , WA
Canada: AB , BC , ON
Native Distribution: S. Yukon & s. AK, s. to w. MT, c. ID & n. CA; absent from Coast Ranges of OR & lowands of the Puget trough
Native Habitat: Wet meadows & moist, open woods at mid- to high elevations

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: In subalpine meadows where the protection of tree and other taller vegetation is lacking, Sitka valerian may be only 6-10 in. tall.


Description: Can be grown from seeds or pieces of rhizome.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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


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

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