Helichrysum species and Uses
Helichrysum are related to the sunflower although are a very different looking plant. Used widely as garden plants some varieties are also used for extraction of the essential oils which are used in aromatherapy.
Like the sunflower and prefer a well drained sunny position and a humus rich moist soil, however many species are very drought tolerant as well.
Helichrysum is a large and varied genus that includes plants such as H. italicum or ‘Curry Plant’ this is due to the fragrance of the leaves, however it is not used in curries, it is used for its essential oils.
So with over 500 species in the genus occurring from Africa to Australia this is indeed a varied group of plants, however they in general do cope well with poor soils and require good drainage.
Most of the Australian species have now been transferred to the Xerochysum genus. And Helichrysum apiculatum is now known as Chrysocephalum apiculatum
A few unusual species can also be found including Helichrysum coralloides, a species found on rocky areas in dry mountainous area of New Zealand.
In terms of landscaping and horticultural us plants such as Helichrysum petiolare or ‘Limelight Licorice Plant’, H. angustifolium which is also known as ‘Curry Plant’ and the cultivar H. thianschanicum ‘Icicles’ are all widely used.
Most species grow well in full sun in a well drained soil.
Today we have the oils of some species including H. italicum being used for aroma therapy
- H. elatum (syn. Coronidium elatum) is known as the ‘White Paper Daisy’ . Tall growing often to over 1m in height.
- H. argyrophyllum is a yellow flowering species that will grow well in very dry areas with poor soils.
- H. leucopsideum is known as the ‘Satin Everlasting Daisy’.
- H. petiolare is also known as the licorice plant.
- H. bracteatum is now Xerochrysum bracteatum
Helichrysum are suitable for growing in pots or rock gardens and do well in coastal conditions.
Helichrysum plants are available for sale from the following nurseries
395 Lesters Rd Ascot VIC 3364 - phone (03) 53434303
Specialising in beautiful perennials & bulbs including new releases from Europe & USA. Many hardy, rare & difficult to find ‘drought hardy’ plants, quality vegetable & flower seeds.