Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Elecampagne, Alant, Elfwort, Elf Dock, Scabwort, Wild Sunflower, Elecampane
Inula helenium

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Inula (IN-yoo-luh) (Info)
Species: helenium (hel-EE-nee-um) (Info)

Synonym:Helenium grandiflorum
Synonym:Aster helenium

3 vendors have this plant for sale.

30 members have or want this plant for trade.


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 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)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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2 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral bonehead On Sep 26, 2011, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

May need some support, as it gets quite tall. I question why the description lists "all parts" as poisonous - I've never found anything in my books to suggest so, and the root is used often in herbal concoctions.

Positive beckinbrooks On Sep 7, 2010, beckinbrooks from Brooks, ME wrote:

I found elecampagne growing in seasonally damp, full-sun areas of my property when I moved here. The huge, somewhat silvery first-year leaves are the real star, with the yellow second-year flowers being a bonus. This is not a neat and tidy plant, but it would make a striking addition to an herb garden or informal border. During wet years, they can easily grow 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. If you live in a cool climate and plant them in a sunny, damp location, give them plenty of room.

Neutral Gabrielle On May 2, 2006, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

My information says that it is hardy in zones 3-9 and can tolerate partial sun. I have found that it is very hardy and, for me anyway, drought tolerant. Last year we had severe drought and I never watered it. I tried moving it and left some of the root by accident. Despite this abuse and neglect, it still came back.

Neutral saya On Feb 28, 2005, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant gets very high, so only from a distance you can see that it is flowering. The leaves more down are huge also..I've measured them 100 cm easy..sometimes I rip one leaf off to use it as a shelter in a suddenly rainfall.. It can take more drought than expected...

Neutral JodyC On Jan 20, 2005, JodyC from Palmyra, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Root Tea(1/2 ounce to 1 pint water)a folk remedy for pneumonia,whooping cough,asthma,bronchitis,upset stomach:used in China for certain cancers

Positive thehumblebumble On Aug 7, 2004, thehumblebumble from Heber Springs, AR (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love the beautiful bright orange/yellow blooms. Great accent plant for mid to back of border. Very drought tolerant. Easy to grow. Spreads moderately.

Neutral poppysue On Nov 2, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is a tall dramatic plant that can reach a height of 8 ft. and has showy daisy type blooms. The leaves are broad with downy gray undersides, and can be over a foot long. Plants bloom in mid summer with numerous shaggy yellow flowers. The thick rhizome has a long history as an herbal expectorant and is used today in treating coughs, asthma, and flu


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Flagstaff, Arizona
Heber Springs, Arkansas
Ceres, California
Brooks, Maine
Grand Haven, Michigan
Helena, Montana
Neptune, New Jersey
West Kill, New York
Grassy Creek, North Carolina
Whitsett, North Carolina
Walterville, Oregon
Kalama, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Stanwood, Washington

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