Panarctic Flora


900103b Valeriana sambucifolia "Icelandic race"


Northern Iceland: Persistent (Adventive)
Shrub Tundra: Persistent (Adventive)
Bordering boreal or alpine areas: Presence uncertain


Geography: European: ICE*.

Notes: Elven and Solstad: Löve (1970a) reported three species and ploidy levels from Iceland: Valeriana officinalis with 2n = 14 and as a garden escape, V. collina Wallr. with 2n = 28 and also as a garden escape, and V. sambucifolia with 2n = 56 and as native with two subspecies, subsp. sambucifolia as ubiquitous and subsp. procurrens (Wallr.) Á. Löve as southern, i.e., with the opposite pattern to what this subspecies is reported to have in Scandinavia (see above). There is no independent support (that we know of) for the ploidy reports. Two species are reported from Iceland by later sources: V. officinalis and V. sambucifolia (Einarsson et al. 1996; Kristinsson 2010), the former assumed introduced, the latter probably native but mapped only from a few localities in the south (Náttúrufrædistofnun Íslands 1996). We consider V. officinalis to be a diploid species (2n = 14) and quite thermophilous. In Kristinsson's (2008) maps for Iceland, this is the only Valeriana reported from the country and it reaches the Arctic.

Inspection of Icelandic material (AMNH, ICEL) did not convince us that two or more taxa are present. The material is fairly uniform, differs from diploid V. officinalis as considered in mainland Europe in being much more tall-grown, with much fewer, broader, and often dentate leaf segments, and larger flowers, but also differs from hexaploid V. sambucifolia as it appears in Scandinavia in more numerous leaf segments and smaller flowers. The Icelandic plant deserves re-investigation, also in view of Löve's suggestion of presence of a tetraploid for which V. collina Wallr., Linnaea 14: 537 (1841) [V. officinalis subsp. collina (Wallr.) Nyman, Consp. 336 (1879)], might be the relevant name (Ockendon 1976).

Higher Taxa