Plant Image
Loy Canyon - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Valeriana arizonica - Arizona valerian

Synonyms: Valeriana acutiloba var. ovata, Valeriana ovata
Other Common Names: tobacco-root
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Valerianaceae

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Flower head
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Flower head
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Basal leaves
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Pioneer Park
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial   Similar Species: Valeriana sp.
General Desc: Pretty, frilly pink flower clusters top sparse, branching, hollow stems that rise above a basal rosette of oval, dark green leaves.
Identification notes: Stems from rhizomes, thin leaves, a short inflorescence spike (somewhat rounded) and a long corolla tube distinguishes this from other Valeriana sp.
Height: To 14 inches


Habitat Description: Mostly in moist soils of coniferous forests and along mountain streams.
Plant Communities: Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest, Riparian
Elevation: 4500 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Pinkish-white to light purple     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Apr - Jul
Description: The flowers are tubular and 5-lobed with white stamens and anthers extending beyond the lobes, giving the flower clusters a frilly appearance. The flowers are to 1/4 inch wide, 1 inch long and are in spiky, round clusters to 2 inches wide.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Dissected     Leaf Attachment: Basal and opposite     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The basal leaves are smooth and broadly oval to 2 inches long. The sparse stem leaves are clasping, arrow-shaped and divided into a pair or pairs of narrow lobes, with the end lobe largest and pointed. The stem is smooth and hollow.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Achene

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
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Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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