Plants for Water Wise Pollinator Gardens: Jupiter's Beard (Centranthus ruber)

Plant Family

Valerian Family (Valerianaceae)

Common Names

Jupiter’s beard, Red valerian, Keys of Heaven


  • Attractive herbaceous perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region of North Africa, Asia Minor, and Europe
  • Classified as a sub-shrub due to woody tissue that develops at the base of the plant
  • Plants grow from 2 to 3 feet high and wide
  • Reddish pink flower clusters bloom during late spring and through the summer (A white cultivar is also available)
  • Deadheading will keep flowers blooming longer
  • Does best in full sun
  • Generally cold hardy in USDA Zones 5 to 8 but it will grow in Zone 4
  • Needs no additional fertilizer
  • Tolerates a wide range of well drained soil types

Note: This plant can become a nuisance in the garden. Clip (deadhead) flowers before they set seed to prevent /reduce re-seeding or be vigilant about removing seedlings.

Painted Lady butterfly feeding on Jupiter’s beard flower. Photo credit: nz_willowherb Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Hawk moth feeding on Jupiter’s beard flower
Photo credit: penguinbush Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

mass of pink red flowers on a Jupiter's Beard plant

Jupiter’s beard used in a mass planting
Photo source: Water Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes Services



Additional Resources:


Water-Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes


Missouri Botanical Center


Texas – ‘Coccineus’ Valerian, Jupiter’s Beard