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



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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


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

Brooklyn, New York

West Kill, New York

Grassy Creek, North Carolina

Whitsett, North Carolina

Walterville, Oregon

Kalama, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Stanwood, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


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.


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.


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.


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...


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


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.


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