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Valeriana officinalis is a medicinal plant that also grows spontaneously, originating from the regions of Western Europe.
These are perennial shrubs, completely rustic, which grow as a bush, reaching 50-80 cm in diameter and 1.5-2 meters in height. The leaves are emerald green and have a lanceolate shape; the flowers are small, white or pink. Flowering occurs during the summer period. In its spontaneous state it grows above all in the shaded areas and at the limits of the wooded areas up to about 1400 meters of altitude.
This particular variety of plant generally prefers the positions of full sun or partial shade. Like all rustic plants, it resists cold temperatures even down to -10 / -15 ° C.
The specimens of this genus withstand more easily the cold periods, compared to very hot and sultry days, in fact they prefer areas with mild temperatures and, above all, they love the shaded areas when the temperatures are high. In the case in which this kind of plant is cultivated in areas with particularly cold winter temperatures, it is advisable to foresee the possibility of cultivating these plants in pots, in order to then be able to transfer them to a protected environment.
Valeriana officinalis is suitable to live in natural gardens and in a wild way. As far as the best possible substrate is concerned, it is good to say that it must be sufficiently drained in order to guarantee the correct absorption of water, without danger of water stagnation, harmful to the health of this variety. The soil must also guarantee the maintenance of a certain degree of humidity that allows the plant to grow.
the propagation of this specific variety of plants may occur by division during the spring or autumn season or by sowing in the spring.
Generally, independently from the use that one wants to do, the collection of the leaves of these shrubs occurs at the end of the vegetative cycle of the plant, in autumn.
Valeriana officinalis grows wildly and luxuriantly in regions with a warm temperate climate, such as those in Western Europe. In such circumstances, the plant grows wild and completely natural.
Its therapeutic and medical properties are renowned: in fact, this variety is associated with a calming, relaxing and soothing value.
We should also mention the use of Valeriana in the kitchen: to flavor dishes or as a salad.
among the varieties we mention the so-called Greek Valerian, Polemonium Caeruleum, which is characterized by flowers, lavender-colored bluebells that grow in spikes during the summer. Due to the beauty of the flowers, this variety of Valerian is often also used as an ornamental plant, particularly suitable for borders.
Valeriana - Valeriana officinalis: Diseases and parasites
This type of medicinal plant may show signs due to the attack by some varieties of pests and diseases; this variety can be attacked by different types of larvae and also by snails, which tend to ruin the leaves. It is also necessary to pay attention to the development of mold or root rot, which can be caused by an excessive presence of humidity in the air or by the formation of water stagnation on the ground that houses these specimens.