Valerian is a perennial plant with a taproot that grows up to 1.5m tall. It produces mild green leaves about 20cm long with a strong mid rib and small leaflets growing from it in five to eight pairs with a centre leaflet forming the tip of the leaf. A group of clustered, pale pink funnel-shaped flowers forms atop a hollow, grooved stem. The root smells like ancient leather and is attractive to rodents. Valerian grows easily in sun or shade as long as its roots are kept cool and moist. The root can be divided in autumn or spring but be aware of its attraction to mice and rats.
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