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Inula helenium

Origin: Eurasia

Improvement status: Cultivated material

Seeds per packet: ~40

Germination tested 12/2019: 86%

Life cycle: Perennial

Elecampane (also known as "elfwort") is a classic medicinal perennial used by herbalists, particularly to aid in the treatment of lung related maladies and for water retention. It is also an ingredient in traditional recipes for absinthe. It takes two years to make good sized roots, but the beautiful yellow flowers make a great backdrop in any garden. Best grown by starting indoors and planting out 2 feet apart, as they will get quite large and tall if well fed. Our seeds were grown by Clint Freund and Kass McKinnon of Cultivating the Commons in Madison, Wisconsin. Perennial.

GROWING TIPS: Best grown by starting indoors and planting out in the spring. Or you could direct seed in the spring: cover seed very lightly, firm up and keep moist until they germinate, which could be up to two weeks. Plants should end up 1-2 feet apart. Harvest root in the late fall of its 2nd or 3rd year. Prefers full sun.