Valeriana locusta L., Sp. Pl.: 33 (1753) (syn: Fedia caerulea Aitkin ex Eaton & Wright ; Fedia ecalyculata Stokes ; Fedia locusta (L.) Rchb.; Fedia locusta var. lasiocarpa Rchb. ; Fedia olitaria (L.) Vahl ; Fedia olitcria (L.) Mirb. ; Fedia paniculata Colla ; Fedia striata Steven ; Locusta communis Delarbre; Masema olitorium (L.) Dulac ; Valeriana locusta subsp. olitoria (L.) Ehrh. ; Valeriana locusta var. olitoria L. ; Valeriana olitoria (L.) Willd. ; Valerianella caerulea Eaton & Wright ; Valerianella dichotoma Gilib. ; Valerianella locusta (L.) Laterr.; Valerianella locusta subsp. dunensis (D.E.Allen) P.D.Sell ; Valerianella locusta var. dunensis Allen ; Valerianella locusta subsp. lusitanica (Pau ex Font Quer) M.Laínz ; Valerianella lusitanica Pau ex Font Quer ; Valerianella olitoria (L.) Pollich ; Valerianella olitoria var. dichotoma Lej. ; Valerianella olitoria var. laciniata Gray ; Valerianella olitoria var. lasiocarpa Rchb. ; Valerianella olitoria var. latifolia Gray ; Valerianella olitoria var. leiocarpa Rchb. ; Valerianella olitoria var. procera Gray ; Valerianella olitoria var. serratifolia Gray ; Valerianella pusilla Miégev. ; Valerianella rhombicarpa Aiken ex Torr. & A.Gray ; Valerianella striata Steven );
Europe to Caucasus, NW. Africa: Albania, Algeria, Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Central European Rus, Corse, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Krym, Morocco, Netherlands, North Caucasus, Northwest European R, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sardegna, Sicilia, South European Russi, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Ukraine, Yugoslavia; Introduced into: Alabama, Argentina Northeast, Argentina South, Arkansas, Bermuda, Bolivia, British Columbia, California, Canary Is., Chile Central, Chile South, China Southeast, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Falkland Is., Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Japan, Kentucky, Korea, Madeira, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Réunion, South Carolina, Tasmania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia as per POWO;
Annual erect herb about 15-40 cm tall. Stem sparingly branched above the base. Leaves, lower ones spathulate to oblanceolate, 3-7 x 0.5-1.5 cm across, margin subentire, cauline leaves sessile, opposite, lanceolate, oblong, obtuse to oblanceolate, margin entire or distantly toothed near the base, glabrous, upper leaves smaller than the lower leaves. Flowers small in dichotomous branched spike, 1.5-2 mm. long, bracts 2-8 mm long, oblong, pubescent. Calyx tube cylindric about 1.5 mm long, obsolete or absent in fruiting with short apical tooth, with narrow long one sided rim. Corolla tube about 1.5 mm long with 5 spreading limbs, stamens 3, exerted shortly. Pistil with a tri-fid stigma. Achene ovoid-suborbiculate about 3 mm across, 3 loculed, fertile locule separated by a membrane, slightly longer than the sterile locule. Single seed with spongy mass on the back.
Temperate forests and cultivated.
Local Distribution: Jammu & Kashmir
(Attributions: Ganeshaiah, K. N., UAS, Bangalore, India. | Kailash, B. R., UAS & ATREE, Bangalore, India as per India Biodiversity Portal)
Not Valeriana rather Valerianella. Check for V. locusta, I had recorded it as new record in India in 1974, paper attached.
1 pdf attachment
Its common European names are lamb’s lettuce, common cornsalad, or simply cornsalad, mâche (/mɑːʃ/), fetticus, feldsalat, nut lettuce, field salad and valerian salad. In restaurants that feature French cuisine, it may be called doucette or raiponce. In some areas in Germany it is called Rapunzel and is the origin of the long haired lady’s name in the famous fairy tale.
“It has been eaten in Britain for centuries and appears in John Gerard’s Herbal of 1597. It was grown commercially in London from the late 18th or early 19th century and appeared on markets as a winter vegetable, but it only became available in modern supermarkets there in the 1980s. American president Thomas Jefferson cultivated mâche at his home.”
Its cultivation and promotion as an exotic vegetable can be an attractive proposition for enterprising entrepreneurs in Kashmir.
Valerianella is a diminutive of Valeriana, referring to the similarity between the two genera. Locusta means “growing in an enclosed area.”
AsV.locusta has been reported only from Srinagar first by Gurcharan ji and then by me in my post and as it is a popular salad in Europe I think that plants in Srinagar could have been introduced by British officers during British rule especially those with a taste for French cuisine where it is served under the name Doucette and Raiponce.