Authors: Anna J. Keutgen *, Susanne Kabusch, Norbert Keutgen
Valeriana celtica subsp. norica is a protected alpine plant, which belongs to the family of Caprifoliaceae, subfamily Valerianaceae. It is an endemic plant in Austria growing in the west area of Carinthian Nockberge and in the east of the Eisenerzer Alps, in the subalpine and alpine altitude of 1800m n 2400m. Since more than 2000 years it is used for its typical and unique smell. Used plant parts for scents are small scaly roots, which contain several important essential oils. The roots were traded all over the world until 1936, till the application of protection law to the Alpine valerian. After the official exemption only few, licensed families may withdrawal of a fixed quantity of plants a year, where the careful harvest and handling occur in August and September. Studies about the influence of the use on the Alpine valerian have shown that the controlled and specialized withdraw of Valeriana celtica subsp. norica activates regeneration of the plants, guarantees the survival of the plant and contributes to the health of the population. However, the balance between the controlled and well regulated withdraw of the plants and the nature conservation needs should be still in the foreground, as a part of the modern nature conservation.