Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Inula helenium
elecampane, inula

Distribution: Known in Washington from a single location east of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, also in central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Roadsides, fields, wastelots, and other disturbed open areas at low elevations.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Introduced from Asia

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Coarse perennial herb, up to 2 m. tall, the stem finely spreading-hairy.


Leaves irregularly and shallowly dentate, densely velvety beneath, the lower elliptic and long-petiolate, the blade up to 5 dm. long and 2 dm. wide, the upper leaves becoming reduced, ovate, sessile and cordate-clasping.


Heads few, pedunculate, large, the disk 3-5 cm. wide; involucre 2-2.5 cm. high, imbricate, the outer bracts broad, herbaceous, and densely short-hairy, the inner bracts narrow, papery and glabrous; ray flowers pistillate, slender, yellow, and over 1 cm. long; disk flowers yellow and perfect; pappus of capillary bristles.


Achenes slender, glabrous, 4-angled.

Accepted Name:
Inula helenium L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 881. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Inula helenium in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Inula helenium checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Inula helenium atlas page.

CalPhotos: Inula helenium photos.

USDA Plants: Inula helenium information.

15 photographs:
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