Centranthus, Jupiter's Beard, Keys to Heaven, Red Valerian 'Alba'

Centranthus ruber

Family: Caprifoliaceae (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info) (cap-ree-foh-lee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Centranthus (sen-TRAN-thus) (Info)
Species: ruber (ROO-ber) (Info)
Cultivar: Alba
Additional cultivar information:(aka Alba Pura, Albus Purus)



Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Camarillo, California

Clayton, California

Davis, California

Fairfield, California

Merced, California

Perris, California

San Jose, California

Cordele, Georgia

Otis, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Ferrysburg, Michigan

Naples, New York

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Mill City, Oregon

Amarillo, Texas

Bulverde, Texas

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 27, 2017, BlueIsland from San Diego, CA wrote:

Would love to get cuttings, roots, seeds, bubs of Cantranthus ruber 'alba' from anyone in San Diego CA


On Jan 17, 2010, annlof from Camarillo, CA wrote:

Very useful for xeriscaping in SoCal. Plants respond well to shearing and quickly refill and rebloom. In shade or rich, moist soil, the plants will flop and need staking. This plant never seems to be without flowers, and the warm white color blends with almost anything. However, in light sandy soil, this plant is a terrible reseeder. Deadheading is difficult because some of the flowers on each stem are going to seed while others are still blooming. Not a low-maintenance plant for tidy gardens.


On Jun 5, 2008, DeenDixie from Fayetteville, AR wrote:

I've grown C. Alba for 3 years now, in the dry, hot strip between my driveway and house. It is not what I call a dominant plant personality, but rather a lovely plant to have as a pleasant filler. I deadhead it and get another period of bloom, each period being approx 5 weeks. Each midsummer I have found one or two seedlings, which I welcome...contrary to what some have written, it certainly is not an agressive self-seeder, at least not in my northwest Arkansas garden. I recommend C. Alba and hope to have it in my garden for the duration. Kind rgds. :-)


On Oct 10, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Supposedly a bit shorter (and perhaps stouter???) than the red form, this cultivar is sold as white, but some sources indicate it can be more off-white to pale pink.