Common Valerian

Common valerian is a perennial herb found in a wide range of habitats. There are two sub-species - one is found in damp grassland, marshes, fens, water margins and ditches, and wet woods throughout the country; the other frequents dry calcareous grasslands, hedge banks and woodland rides in S. and C. Britain. Although once common, it has shown a sustained decline, particularly in the south-east, and is now considered to be Near Threatened in England.

So it was nice to find a thriving patch of it during the second King's Dyke NR Bioblitz. The weather was less intensely hot than in 2018, and being a month earlier there were still the remains of some spring flowers present, so our overall list was greater. I added several new species to the reserve list, no mean feat in this well-studied site - so all-in-all a very good day. Though I'm not sure we'll be able to increase on our total again next year!

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