Valerian Seed with Pappus
An illustration of the valerian seed with attached pappus. In a composite flower, Pappus is the part of individual disk and ray flowers that surrounds the base, in the same manner as the calyx does in a non-compound flower. The pappus may be like bristles or tiny hairs, teeth, or scales, and is usually too small to see without magnification. Valerian is a hardy perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers. The flowers are in bloom in the northern hemisphere from June to September. Valerian was used as a perfume in the sixteenth century.