Spur valerian

Centranthus ruber

Also known as: Red valerian
Pest group: Plants
Pest type: Herbs
Management approach: Community led

A perennial herb with brightly coloured flowers visible from November, spur valerian displaces native vegetation.


  • Perennial herb less than 80cm tall.
  • Leaves are blue-green, variable, and 17 x 5cm.
  • Flowers are pink, white, or red and are visible between November and June.
  • Fruit is less than 4mm long.
  • Seeds are dispersed by wind.
  • Habitats include coastal habitats, cliffs, shingle beaches, volcanic rocks, rock walls, roadsides, gardens, and wastelands.

What you need to know

Displaces native vegetation. May compete with threatened short stature plant species.

Management approach

Community led

These organisms have not been legally declared as pests but may be of interest to the public as they occur regularly in the environment. They may be capable of causing adverse effects to the values of Waitaha/Canterbury.

Consider removing this invasive species from your property and consult your local council for appropriate disposal. Consider lower-risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.


Site management

Follow up treated areas three times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after two to three treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Physical control

Dig out.

Plant parts requiring disposal: seeds.

Contact your local council for appropriate disposal locations.

Chemical control

No qualifications: Foliar spray in summer with 100ml glyphosate per 10L of water.

Certified handler/experienced agrichemical user: Foliar spray with 200ml glyphosate per 10L and 20ml penetrant.

Caution: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Biological control

Biological control is currently not available for this species.