Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is an old Germanic ritual and healing plant. This perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers, blooms in the summer and can reach a height of 5 Ft. Valerian flower extracts were used as a perfume in the 16th century.
It has been also used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome where it's said to have been prescribed as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the "envy" of the elves.
Native to Europe and parts of Asia, valerian has been introduced into North America. Perennial to Zone 4. Valerian root may have sedative and anxiolytic effects.
Other names used for this plant include, Velandswurt, Wieland’s root, Baldrian, garden valerian (to distinguish it from other Valeriana species), setwall, trance plant and all-heal.