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Inula helenium - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-210.jpg

1897 illustration [1]

Scientific classification e

Kingdom: Plantae

Clade: Angiosperms

Clade: Eudicots

Clade: Asterids

Order: Asterales

Family: Asteraceae

Genus: Inula

Species: I. helenium

Binomial name

Inula helenium



Aster helenium (L.) Scop.

Aster officinalis All.

Corvisartia helenium (L.) Mérat

Helenium grandiflorum Gilib.

Inula orgyalis Boiss.

Elecampane (/ˌɛlɪkæmˈpeɪn/[3]), Inula helenium, also called horse-heal or elfdock, is a widespread plant
species in the sunflower family Asteraceae. It is native to Europe and Asia from Spain to Xinjiang
Province in western China, and naturalized in parts of North America.[4][5][6][7][8]

1 Description

2 Folklore

3 Uses

4 Chemical constituents

5 References

6 External links


Elecampane is a rather rigid herb, the stem of which attains a height of about 90–150 cm (35–59 in). The
leaves are large and toothed, the lower ones stalked, the rest embracing the stem; blades egg-shaped,
elliptical, or lance-shaped, as big as 30 cm (12 in) long and 12 cm (4.7 in) wide. Leaves are green on the
upper side with light, scattered hairs, but whitish on the underside because of a thick layer of wool. The
flower heads up to 5 cm (2 inches) broad, each head containing 50-100 yellow ray flowers and 100-250
yellow disc flowers. The root is thick, branching and mucilaginous, and has a bitter taste and a
camphoraceous odour with sweet floral (similar to violet) undertones.[6][8]


The plant's specific name, helenium, derives from Helen of Troy; elecampane is said to have sprung up
from where her tears fell. It was sacred to the ancient Celts, and once had the name "elfwort".[9]