Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Bergamo Wall Plant - Valeriana rubra

Valeriana rubra on a wall in Bergamo, Italy via Sudorno Valeriana rubra on a wall in Bergamo, Italy via Costantino Beltrami Valeriana rubra flower head on a wall in Bergamo, Italy
Valeriana rubra in and on walls in Bergamo, Italy. Left via Sudorno. Center via Beltrami.

This is our 15th plant in our list of wall plants seen in Bergamo, Italy. A wall plant is one we've seen growing in and on walls in Bergamo. So what you might say. Well, we are living (1) in a walled city that was a Venetian defensive system built between 1561 and 1588, and now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2017. There are over 6 km of mostly uninterrupted (2) wall surrounding the city. Add to that countless walls inside the upper city – as is typical of Italian cities – and you have a lot of surface area for plants.

(1) We technically live just outside the upper (walled) city but spend a lot of time going in and out of the upper city.
(2) It took us several years to realize that the part of wall that is missing is where Via Costantino Beltrami (here) leaves the upper city. (The street is name for the Italian explorer who is reported to have discovered the headwaters of the Mississippi River.)

The plant on the wall in this post is Valeriana rubra (syn. Centranthrus ruber), which is part of the Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle) family. Common names of Valeriana rubra included red valerian, kiss-me-quick, fox's brush, and Jupiter's beard. In Italian it’s referred to as Valeriana rossa. One thing about the Italian language is that many common names of plants echo in some way the scientific name. In English, it’s less the case.

A list of our wall plants we've seen in Bergamo thus far:

  • [Caprifoliaceae] Valeriana rubra - Red valerian
  • [Papavero] Papaver rhoeas (post) - Common poppy
  • [Campanulaceae] Campanula poscharskyana (post) – Serbian Bellflower
  • [Plantaginaceae] Antirrhinum majus (post) - Common Snapdragon
  • [Crassulaceae[ Sedum palmeri (post)
  • [Crassulaceae] Sedum album and Sedum dasyphyllum (post) - White Stonecrop and Corsican Stonecrop
  • [Papavero] Fumaria officinalis (post) – Earth Smoke
  • [Brassicaceae] Aubrieta deltoidea - Purple Rock Cress and Iberis sempervirens - Evergreen Candytuft (post)
  • [Geraniaceae] Geranium robertianum (post) - Stinking Bob
  • [Asteraceae] Erigeron karvinskianus (post) - Mexican Fleabane
  • [Aspleniaceae] Asplenium ceterach (post) - Rustyback Fern
  • [Aspleniaceae] Asplenium ruta-muraria (post) - Wall Rue
  • [Aspleniaceae] Asplenium trichomanes (post) - Maidenhair spleenwort
  • [Urticaceae] Parietaria diffusa (post) – Pellitory
  • [Plantaginaceae] Cymbalaria muralis (post) - Pennywort

Valeriana rubra flower head on a wall in Bergamo, Italy Valeriana rubra on a wall in Bergamo, Italy
Valeriana rubra in and on walls in Bergamo, Italy.

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