is a genus comprising about 12 species of flowering plants in family Valerianaceae, native to Southern Europe. The genus contains annuals, perennials and subshrubs.
(Red Valerian, Jupiter's Beard), 1 m high and across, is native to the Mediterranean region and is the widely grown among the species in the genus. It is a perennial plant with a woody base and leaves that are generally 5-8 cm long, with lower leaves being petioled while the upper leaves are sessile. In spring to late summer, it bears large and showy inflorescences of small, star-shaped flowers which are usually purplish red, but sometimes lavender or white color. The flowers are scented and are pollinated by bees and butterflies. The plant is noted for attracting insects. Centranthus ruber
is also food plant for larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Angel Shades. It is an ideal plant for growing on a rocky wall or in well-drained soil at the front of a sunny border. The plant prefers fairly poor soil, as it gets leggy and not flowering well if grown in good garden soil.
Centranthus is trouble free and grows well in full sun and well-drained soil. Propagation can be done by seed or division in spring.
Centranthus longiflorus subsp. longiflorus