Valeriana sitchensis Bong.
Sitka valerian
Caprifoliaceae (Valerian family)
(Previously in Valerianaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Gordon Neish     (Photo ID #17988)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Valeriana sitchensis
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from a stout rhizome or branched stem-base with fibrous roots; stems smooth except short-hairy at the nodes, 30-120 cm tall.
Basal leaves few, pinnately cleft with 1-2 pairs of lateral segments; stem leaves opposite, larger, with 1-4 pairs of lateral segments, enlarged terminal segment up to 10 cm long and 7 cm wide, usually coarsely toothed, leaves becoming short-stalked upwards.
Inflorescence a compact, flat-topped cluster with usually male/female flowers; corollas white or pink, 4.5-7 mm long, lobed, the lobes 1/2 as long as the tube; calyces with 12-18 feathery segments; stamens well exserted.
Achenes, egg-shaped to more oblong, 3-6 mm long, 2-2.5 mm wide, smooth.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Valeriana sitchensis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres)
1590 5 2750
Slope Gradient (%)
23 0 300

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

204 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(84), BAFA(75), BWBS(2), CMA(24), CWH(54), ESSF(4176), ICH(217), IDF(3), IMA(33), MH(182), MS(203), PP(1), SBPS(6), SBS(267), SWB(53)

Habitat and Range

Moist streambanks, meadows, forests and avalanche tracks in all but the lowland zone; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to AB and S to MT, ID and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Valeriana sitchensis subsp. scouleri (Rydb.) F.G. Mey.
Valeriana sitchensis subsp. sitchensis
Valeriana sitchensis var. hookeri (Shuttlw.) G.N. Jones
Valeriana sitchensis var. scouleri (Rydb.) M.E. Jones