red valerian (Centranthus ruber)

A sprawling herb to 80cm high.
Ground Cover
Natural Distribution: 
Native to Western Europe and the Mediterranean.

Red valerian arrived in Taroona in the early 2000s from dumped garden waste and/or contaminated soil. It has rapidly spread along the foreshore and roadside verges, favouring dry areas with poor soil. We are currently dealing with infestations of red valerian in the lower parts of Illawong Reserve, the Alum Cliffs track, Taroona Beach foreshore and Crayfish Point. It has red or white flowers.

Dispersal:  Red valerian is spread in dumped garden waste and contaminated soil. Once established, it seeds prolifically, with its seeds being efficiently dispersed by wind. 

Control:  Diligent handpulling or frequent herbicide spraying is required. Plant material can be left to rot on-site. Because it grows on steep, friable slopes (such as Crayfish Point foreshore reserve), its removal can trigger soil erosion. In such instances, removal is best done during winter when immediate replanting with a native alternative ground cover species  can occur - e.g. bower spinach (Tetragonia implexicoma) or pigface (Carpobrotus rossii).