Page author: David Giblin
Valeriana sitchensis
Sitka valerian

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Common in moist areas at mid- to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, flies, sawflies


Fibrous-rooted perennial from a stout, branched rhizome, the unbranched stem usually glabrous, 3-12 dm. tall.


Leaves opposite, chiefly cauline, 2-5 pairs, the lowermost 1-2 pairs reduced, the others well-developed, petiolate, pinnatifid, the enlarged terminal segment up to 10 cm. long and 7 cm. wide, the 1-4 pairs of lateral segments up to 7.5 cm. long and 4.5 cm. wide; upper leaves reduced and sub-sessile; all leaves and their segments usually wavy margined.


Inflorescence compact, 2.5-8 cm. wide, becoming diffuse in fruit; flowers all perfect; calyx enlarging and spreading, with 12-20 plumose, bristle-like segments; corolla united, white, 4.5-7 mm. long, the 5 lobes less than half as long as the tube; stamens 3, well exerted; ovary inferior, with two of the three cells vestigial.


Fruit an achene, 3-6 mm. long, ovate-oblong to ovate, glabrous.

Accepted Name:
Valeriana sitchensis Bong.
Publication: Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint Pétersbourg (Sér. 7) 2(2): 145-146. 1832.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Valeriana sitchensis Bong. var. hookeri (Shuttlew.) G.N. Jones
Valeriana sitchensis Bong. var. sitchensis
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Valeriana sitchensis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Valeriana sitchensis checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Valeriana sitchensis information.

E-Flora BC: Valeriana sitchensis atlas page.

CalPhotos: Valeriana sitchensis photos.

USDA Plants: Valeriana sitchensis information.

79 photographs:
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