| Elecampane |
| Inula helenium|
| Uses: Culinary/Medicinal/Industrial
|| Duration: Perennial (hardy in zones 3-8) |
| When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early Fall
|| Ease of Germination: Easy |
Soaring like a skyscraper to heights of 2-3m (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.