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Centranthus ruber 'Albus'

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Annual/Biennial or Herbaceous Perennial

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Resilience

Hardiness

H7 (very hardy)

Colour

Flower

White in Spring and Summer

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.5-1 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

red valerian (white form)

Family

Caprifoliaceae


Centranthus may be annuals or perennials, with usually simple, opposite leaves and terminal clusters of small, trumpet-shaped flowers

'Albus' is an upright perennial, sometimes grown as a biennial, with greyish-green leaves and sprays of small white flowers in late spring and summer

Synonym(s)

  • Centranthus alba
  • Valeriana 'Alba'

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun

Aspect

  • South-facing or West-facing
  • Exposed

Cultivation

Grow in a well-drained soil that is poor to moderately fertile, ideally a chalky or stony soil. Good drought resistance; thrives on walls and in coastal gardens. Needs full sun to flower well.

Soil

  • Well-drained
  • Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Loam or Chalk

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance, Wall-side Borders, Coastal, Wildlife Gardens or Drought Resistant


How to care

Pruning

Cut down stems in autumn or if self-seeding is a problem then cut back hard in July after their first flowering

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free