Elecampane Inula helenium

LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 850

I decided I'd like to have this plant in my garden when I first saw it at Chatsworth Gardens, Derbyshire, but didnt know its name. I saw it again today at Chester Zoo where I learnt its name - Elecampane Inula helenium. But its other names are Elf Dock, Elfwort, Horse-elder, Horseheal, Scabwort & Wild Sunflower.

Im wondering what this plant is like to grow, and how does it behave? And where I can buy some seeds?








  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041

    Hi LF, It's bigimage  needs a fair bit ofspace, mine grows over snowdrops as there's nothing to seein the winter. Doesn't likeit too hot or dry. Never known it have any diseases or pests. seeds about a bit but not excessively. Quite heavy headed and inclined to fall over. I like it  but not as much as Telekia speciosa which is somewhat similar in style

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 850

    Just had a google of Telekia speciosa. It looks almost identical but a little shorter? 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041

    probably a little shorter, less inclined to fall over and I prefer the colour which is a more golden sort of yellow.

    and there's a lovely pungent scent to the leaves and the leaves are smaller and greener. elecampane tend towards the grey/green  

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,138

    Never found that it falls over, but agree with Nutcutlet on everything else. You would really need to remove the faded flowers assiduously or have them grow all over the place. Having said that, the seedlings are dead easy to pull out.

  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 850

    Thanks. I'll have to decide which one to get. Perhaps the Telekia would be less dominant looking in my garden. Both nice plants though.

  • I have one and have found it quite fussy. In the hot weather, it needed to be practially standing in water or it began to wilt. It hated being dry.  Once the weather got wetter, it did not like being waterlogged at all and began to die back. It needs constant moisture and good drainage, maybe beside a pond or next to a water butt like one of mine that occasionally overflows.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,041

    I can only grow either of these in the shade on my soil. Maybe that's why the elecampane falls over, leaning towards the light

  • Check out twighlightgardenseeds on eBay they have inula seed mix for £1.99!!!!!  The listing is for 20 seeds..... Funny cause I was only looking at them last night!!!

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