This genus comprised of a dozen or so species of annuals and perennials features red or white, funnel-shaped, starry flowers on upright, branched stems. Only C. ruber is commonly grown in gardens. It has fragrant red, pink, or white flowers in late spring to late summer. Centranthus self-seeds freely and has naturalized in some parts of the U.S.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsSelf-sows. Long blooming. Attracts bees and butterflies.
CareValerian prefers alkaline soil. Choose a site in full sun with well-drained soil of moderate fertility. Be sure to deadhead regularly.
PropagationSow seed in a cold frame in spring. Perennial species may be carefully divided in early spring.