Elecampane. Inula helenium (Horse heal, scabwort)

Soaring like a skyscraper to heights of 7-10ft, this hardy perennial makes an impressive statement in the garden. Topped with dark yellow flowers throughout summer, the whole plant seems to follow the sun like a modern-day sun worshiper. It is a tough garden plant and easily withstands adverse conditions, though it prefers sunny, moist spots out of the wind. Since before Roman times elecampane has been used for medicine, mainly for its expectorant and carminative qualities. In the Middle Ages, apothecaries sold the candied root as a soothing lozenge for asthma and indigestion. Today dried root preparations are used to quiet coughing, stimulate digestion, and soothe the stomach. Research indicates that elecampane is effective against methicillin-resistant stapylococcus aureus (MRSA). Flowers yield yellow and orange dyes.

Plant in spring, late summer or early fall.

If starting indoors, start seed app 60 days before last frost. Transplant about 2 weeks after date of last frost.

Packet app. 20 seeds.


Cultivation:A perennial herb, elecampane grows in zone 4-9. Hardy and forgiving, it grows anywhere from full sun to partial shade. Often found near woods, elecampane can withstand dry soil, but thrives in nice, damp ground.

If you are looking for a plant for the ornamental or herbal healing garden, this is the specimen for you! It is hard to kill and certainly unusual enough to be a showpiece for any garden plan.

More on growing Elecampane

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks