Inula helenium (Elecampane)
I have grown Inula helenium, or Elecampane, for many years, and I always look forward to its dazzling display in late summer. It is a plant that makes its presence known in a big way: the leathery, bright green toothed leaves are huge; the plant can grow from three to five feet (mine is usually on the low end of the scale), and some say up to eight feet; the bright yellow, three-inch ray flowers are borne in clusters, each petal attractively notched at the ends; and it is used medicinally and for making absinthe. In other words, it is not just another pretty face. It might interest you to know that "helenium" refers to Helen of Troy. It is said that Inula helenium sprang up wherever she shed tears. Elecampane likes full sun, although it will tolerate shade, in Zones 5-8. Quarts.