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a family of dicotyledonous plants whose members are grasses or more rarely semishrubs and shrubs. The leaves of this plant are opposed, whole, and tripartate or cleft, and they lack stipules. The flowers are bisexual or sexually divided and are most often pentapartate and more or less asymmetrical, though more rarely almost regular. They are usually small and arranged in multiblossom complex inflorescences. The stamens are either in groups of four or clusters of three and one. The gynoecium comes from three carpels, of which two do not develop fully. Beneath it are the ovaries. The fruit is often provided with winglike or feather-like pappi. There are 13 genera and more than 400 species, distributed largely in the temperate regions of America, Eurasia, and Africa. There are five genera and more than 70 species in the USSR. The most important are the representatives of the genus valeriana, valerianellas (some species of which are cultivated abroad as salad greens), patrinia (which is used with medicinal valerian), and centranth (a decorative plant). True, or aromatic, nard is obtained from some valerians; it is a cosmetic and medicinal substance.
REFERENCESGrubov, V. I. “ Valerianovye.” In Flora SSSR, vol. 23. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Takhtadzhian, A. L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
M. E. KIRPICHNIKOV