Have I not seen you before?!

Centranthus ruber, commonly called Red Valerian is an extremely common plant in Dublin. It is an introduced plant to Ireland that has become naturalised here. It is originally from the Mediterranean. First brought in as an ornamental plant for its beautiful subdued pink flowers which sit in clusters on top long slender stalks, the plant soon escaped. It escaped the confines of gardens and can now be found naturalised over many parts of Ireland. The most common version of this plant in Ireland is the pink flowering one however there are ruby red and white varieties also.

Centranthus ruber commonly called Red Valerian

Centranthus ruber commonly called Red Valerian

The plants ability to self-seed so successfully means it can be found in large clumps around every second corner. I have come across it numerous times around Dublin in both gardens and on sand dunes. In both instances I must admit I am a fan of it. In gardens it looks quiet spectacular growing in flower beds and even on top of walls and in the cracks of pavement. I feel it sits quiet happily here and looks almost like a cottage garden plant. It grows extremely wellΒ amongΒ the grasses that occupy the sand dunes on Bull Island in Dublin Bay. I saw it here in 2011 where it stood tall and waved in the fresh sea breeze. It was quiet capable of withstanding the harsh condition beside the sea and added great colour to the dunes.

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