Valerian, a family of perennial herbs and shrubs native to north temperate areas. The plant is grown as an ornamental for its clusters of colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers. The common valerian, or garden heliotrope, is native to Europe and western Asia. It is three to five feet (90 to 150 cm) tall and bears fragrant pink, white, or lavender flowers. The root is dried and used in antispasmodic drugs. Red valerian, also native to Eurasia, grows one to three feet (30 to 90 cm) tall and bears highly fragrant scarlet flowers. Both common and red valerian are grown in gardens in North America.
Common valerian is Valeriana officinalis; red valerian, Centranthus ruber. The valerian family is Valerianaceae.