[The Valerians and Heliotropes of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian

Valeriana hookeri

Synonyms: Valeriana scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri

Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)

Scouler's heliotrope from the McCord Creek Trail, below the lower falls, Columbia River Gorge..........April 1996.

Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)Scouler's heliotrope from the McCord Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge..........April 1996.

Characteristics:

Scouler's heliotrope is a fibrous-rooted perennial with stems rising from 15-70 cm in height from a thick, branched rhizome. The herbage is smooth. The leaves are largely basal with a long, thin petiole and an entire, simple, elliptical blade up to 8 cm long and 4 cm wide, or pinnatifid with larger terminal leaflet and one or two pairs of smaller leaflets to 3 cm long and 1.5 cm wide found paired below the terminal leaflet. 2-4 pairs of pinnatifid leaves may be found on the stems. These have shorter petioles, or may almost be sessile, and are similar in shape and size (or shorter) to the basal leaves.

The inflorescence which is found at the tips of the stems, is compact and about 2-7 cm wide. The flowers are perfect with white or pink corollas from 5-9 mm long. The 5 petals or lobes of the corolla are less than half as long as the tube.


Habitat:

Scouler's heliotrope is a plant of seasonally moist woods, wet cliffs, and wet meadows from sea level to near 4000 feet.


Range:

Scouler's heliotrope may be found from southern British Columbia and southern Vancouver Island south on the west side of the Cascades to northwestern California.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 100'-3600' from near Crown Pt. east to near the Little White Salmon River.


Inflorescence of Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri) - Basal leaf of Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri) - Inflorescence of Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)

Close-ups of the inflorescence and a basal leaf of Scouler's heliotrope as seen along the McCord Creek Trail in the western Columbia River Gorge...........May 30, 2009.

Stem leaf of Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri) - Basal leaf of Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)

One of the few stem leaves (left) and a basal leaf (right) found on Scouler's heliotrope. Photographed at McCord Creek Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.........April 20, 2006.

Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana scouleri (Synonyms: Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)

Scouleri's heliotrope on rock outcrops near Wahclella Falls, Columbia River Gorge...........April 22, 2013.

Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana hookeri (Synonyms: Valeriana scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri) - Scouler's Heliotrope, Scouler's Valerian: Valeriana hookeri (Synonyms: Valeriana scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis ssp. scouleri, Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri)

Scouler's heliotrope as seen along the upper trail at McCord Creek Falls, Columbia River Gorge.........April 22, 2015.

Paul Slichter