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 as a medicinal plant and more commonly in modern times considered an ornamental. Excellent pollinator attractor.



Native to Eurasia, from Spain to western China, horseheal has also been naturalized in parts of North America. The ancient Celts considered it sacred, and its nickname "elfwort" reflects its association with fairies and elves in folklore. Said to attract fairies.


  • Ornamental
  • This tall, bright yellow flower shines at the back of the border, and landscape design
  • Visited by butterflies and hummingbirds
  • An ancient medicinal plant of Europe, great for historical/medieval gardens




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


  • 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.


  • Horseheal is an easygoing perennial in USDA zones 3-7.
  • Simply allow plants to regrow in spring or 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 the palms, breaking them apart.
  • The small, blackish seeds can be separated from the chaff by first screening and then winnowing.