Valeriana officinalis (Garden Valerian)
This is one flower I used to grow that was very popular with my elderly and all-time favorite neighbor, Mr. Cleve Thomas. He came by every summer when it was blooming just to smell its heady fragrance. Regrettably, Mr. Thomas is gone now, but I named one of my favorite cats after him, and since Valeriana officinalis is almost like catnip to cats, I think I did a good thing. Valerian, native to Europe and parts of Asia, has been used medicinally and in the perfume industry. Valerian grows from three to five feet tall (mine has never reached more than three) with heads of sweetly scented, pink/white clustered flowers and lacy foliage; it prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. There are those who say Valerian reseeds too freely, but that has never been the case in my garden, but if you don't want extras, and I don't know why you wouldn't, be sure to deadhead before it produces seed. Zones 4-9. Quarts. Because of agricultural restrictions, Valeriana officinalis cannot be sent to Connecticut.