E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Valeriana dioica L.
Wood Valerian (Capitate Valerian; marsh valerian)
Caprifoliaceae (Valerian family)
(Previously in Valerianaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Daniel Mosquin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #59546)

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Distribution of Valeriana dioica
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Valeriana dioica ssp. sylvatica

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a stout branched rhizome or woody stem-base with fibrous roots; stems erect, solitary, simple below the inflorescence, smooth or nearly so, 10-40 cm tall.
Basal leaves spoon-shaped to egg-shaped, up to 8 cm long and 3 cm wide, mostly simple, smooth, long-stalked; stem leaves opposite, 2-4 pairs, up to 5 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, pinnately cleft with 1-7 pairs of lateral lobes, the terminal lobe narrowly oblong, short-stalked or unstalked.
Inflorescence a compact, round-topped cluster of either male and female or only female flowers; corollas white, 2-4 mm long, lobed, the lobes about equal to the tubes; calyces with 9-15 feathery segments; stamens well exserted.
Achenes, lanceolate, 3-5 mm long, up to 2 mm wide, smooth.
The North American plants, recognized as ssp. sylvatica, are closely related to and not always easily distinguished from the Eurasian ssp. dioica.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist meadows and streambanks in the montane and subalpine zones; frequent in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to YT and NT, E to NF and S to SD, WY, ID and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Valeriana dioica

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) 6 1401 2425
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 90
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 188 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(1), BWBS(15), ESSF(64), ICH(1), IDF(10), IMA(1), MS(25), SBPS(40), SBS(19), SWB(8)

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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