Red valerian: Centranthus ruber
This genus that belongs to the Valerianaceae family is native to the Mediterranean. Red valerian is particularly popular as an ornamental plant because of its long-lived flowers that are produced in large numbers. This herbaceous perennial forms clumps 40-100 cm (16-39 in) high. The blue-green leaves are slightly fleshy. It bears dense clusters of small, star-shaped, fragrant flowers, produced from early summer until autumn. They range from dark red to pale pink depending on the variety. The ‘Albus’ variety has white flowers. Red valerians are very undemanding plants and only need plenty of sun and well-drained alkaline. They will tolerate long periods of drought and need hardly any fertiliser. Red valerians attract bees and butterflies. Regular deadheading is recommended to prevent them from self seeding. They can be divided at the beginning of spring.