[Valerians and Heliotropes: The Genus Valeriana East of the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]

Cordilleran Valerian, Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian

Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa

Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa

Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Downy-fruited valerian blooming atop the cliffs at the head of Kiger Gorge, Steens Mountain...........July 11, 2014.

Leaves of Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)Photo at right of a stem leaf (left) and basal leaf (right) of downy-fruited valerian from the Rooster Comb, Steens Mt., southeastern Oregon.........June 23, 1999.
Characteristics:

Downy-fruited valerian is a short-stemmed (10-60 cm high) perennial with fibrous roots from a thick, branched rhizome, and smooth herbage. The basal leaves are lanceolate to oblanceolate or spatulate in shape up to 8 cm long and 3.5 cm wide (See photo at right and below.). The lowermost of the 1-3 pairs of stem leaves are often undivided and petiolate, while the upper pairs of leaves are often pinnatifid with several or few short lateral lobes (See photo at right.) which are rarely as much as 1 cm wide.

The inflorescence is congested and from 1.5-5 cm wide in bloom and about as wide in fruit. The flowers are perfect with white corollas 4-7 mm long and the 5 petals or lobes of the corolla less than half as long as the tube. The stamens are well exserted from the mouth of the corolla.


Habitat:

Downy-fruited valerian may be found on open, often rocky slopes at moderate to high elevations in the mountains. It is often found near melting snow banks.


Range:

Downy-fruited valerian may be found east of the crest of the Cascades in Oregon east through the Blue Mts and Steens Mt. east to the Rocky Mts. of southwestern Montana, and south to Arizona, New Mexico, and California.


Habitat view of Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa) - Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa) - Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Downy-fruited valerian blooming atop the cliffs at the head of Kiger Gorge, Steens Mountain...........July 11, 2014.

Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Downy-fruited valerian with flower buds forming as seen on a rocky ridge directly to the north of Jackman Park, Steens Mountain of southeastern Oregon.............June 2, 2012. Note the broad, oblanceolate leaf blades lacking lateral lobes.

Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa) - Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Downy-fruited valerian beginning to bloom near the summit of Round Mt., Ochoco National Forest..........May 28, 2016.

Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Valeriana acutiloba from Lookout Mt., Ochoco N.F.........June 22, 1998.

Flowers of Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Close-up of the inflorescence of downy-fruited valerian from the Rooster Comb, Steens Mt., southeastern Oregon.........June 23, 1999.

Basal leaf of Downy-fruited Valerian, Forest Valerian: Valeriana acutiloba var. pubicarpa (Synonyms: Valeriana capitata ssp. pubicarpa, Valeriana pubicarpa)

Close-up of a basal leaf of downy-fruited valerian, from the north loop road to the Steens Mt., southeastern Oregon, June 27, 1997.

Paul Slichter