The Q&A Archives: Identifying A Plant

Question: My grandmother gave me this plant over 20 years ago. I always thought it was Heliotrope, but it is not purple and has much more delicate leaves. It grows tall one year, short the next. Has very delicate, fern like leaves and on the top of the talls ones is the most fragrant, white, lacey in appearance flowers. I am guess since the tall ones are the only bloomers that it may really be a biennal. I have never seen it in a catelog, garden store etc. I love it and am worried that one day it may not come up and would not know where to get it.

Answer: Perhaps you have Valerian, sometimes called hardy or garden heliotrope. The foliage and flower could fit your description.

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