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botanical name:
Inula helenium
Inula helenium © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Elecampagne, Alant, Elfwort, Elf Dock, Velvet dock, Scabwort, Yellow starwort, wild sunflower, Horseheal, Horse elder
synonyms:  Helenium grandiflorum, Aster officinalis, Aster helenium
family:  Asteraceae
characteristics: perennial
height: 2.00m
width: 0.75m
growth rate: fast
growth habit: erect
leaf colour: green
flower colour: yellow
stem/bark: green
main season: Summer
edible symbol edible
medicinal symbol medicinal
aspect: full sun, part shade
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -20°C
USDA zone: 6 to 9
description:
Tough, erect, sparsely branched stems growing from thick, cylindrical, branching rhizomes. Large, oval, stalked basal leaves and alternate, stem-clasping stem leaves, finely toothed and softly hairy underneath. Large, bright yellow, dandelion-like flowerheads held singly or in small clusters on long stalks, in July and August.

cultivation:
Most soils in sun or part shade.

propagation:
By seed or from root cuttings in spring or autumn.

usage:
The dried roots are used as a medicinal herb for the treatment of respiratory problems and also for skin diseases.
Can also be used as a culinary herb, to flavour sauces and deserts.
Attractive to insects.

other notes:
Native to south-eastern Europe and western Asia, naturalised elsewhere, including Britain, Ireland and parts of the USA. Often found on waste land, woods and rough pastures.

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