How To Grow and Save Seed Of Elecampane

Latin name Inula helenium is an herbaceous perennial also known as horseheal. A member of the Aster family, it is an herb that is used both as a medicinal plant and more commonly in modern times is considered an ornamental. Excellent pollinator attractor. Perennial from USDA zones 3-7.



Native to Eurasia, from Spain to western China. Horseheal has also naturalized in parts of North America. The ancient Celts considered it sacred and nicknamed the plant "elfwort," as the plant has been associated with fairies and elves in folklore. Said to attract fairies.


  • Ornamental
  • Traditional medicinal plant.
  • Visited by many beneficial insects and pollinators.




  • Seeds will germinate in 14-21 days.
  • Direct seeds outdoors after last frost.
  • Surface sow seeds and gently press into soil, as light aids germination.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 50-60 F.


  • Plants prefer full sun to part shade.
  • Rich, moist, well-drained soil is best.
  • Space plants 12-24 inches apart.


  • No serious insect or diseases of this plant.


Saving sunflower seeds is very easy!

  • Simply allow these perennial plants to regrow in spring or you can save seeds.
  • Allow the flowerhead containing the seeds to completely mature and dry on the plant, then clip off the flowerhead and place in a container.
  • Working over the top of another clean, opened container, rub the flowerheads between your palms to break them apart.
  • The small, blackish seeds can be separated from the chaff by first screening and then winnowing.