You find the Great Wild Valerian in most parts of Britain. It grows in marshy meadows and in damp woods, and is in flower all summer.
The Wild Valerian is a tall, handsome plant. It has small pale pink flowers, which grow in thick clusters on long, stiff green stalks rising from the main stem.
If you pull off a single flower you find that its five pink petals are joined together at the bottom into a tube. This tube folds back at its mouth into five pink scallops, and you can see three yellow-headed stamens coming out of the mouth of the pink tube. If you gently split the tube open you will discover that these stamens are clinging to its sides.
The green sepals of the Wild Valerian are also joined into a tube which has five teeth at the top, and after the pink petals are withered, this green tube sends up a tuft of beautiful feathery down.
The stem is dark and glossy. It is ribbed all over and is hollow inside.
In the Wild Valerian each leaf is divided into fingers, which grow in pairs on each side of a slender stalk. Sometimes there will be ten pairs of these little fingers, and you will notice that each finger is not placed exactly opposite its neighbour, but that they grow alternately.
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