Garden flowers

Italian immortelle (Helichrysum): the curry plant


The Italian immortelle (helichrysum) is a very aromatic plant, also very interesting for its pretty little golden yellow flowers.

In summary, what you need to know:

Last name : Helichrysum italicum
Family: Asteraceae
Type: Perennial

Height: 50 cm
Exhibition: Sunny
Ground : Ordinary

Foliage: Persistent -Flowering: June to October

A Mediterranean plant, the Italian immortelle is grown more as an annual, but some species are more resistant.

Plantation of the Italian Immortal

The Italian Immortal or helichrysum likes fairly arid areas, the well-drained soils and the situations very sunny.

On the other hand, the Italian immortal hates the cold or the snow because she would not resist it.

  • You plant the Italian immortal in fall or spring, it doesn't matter.
  • She loves full sun
  • It doesn't mind heat but does dread waterlogged soils, make sure it's well-drained.
  • Multiplication by cuttings in summer.

Care of the Immortal of Italy

No size is really essential, as the Italian Immortal has a relatively slow growth.

But to keep a compact habit and a fairly dense tuft, you will be able prune at the end of winter so as to give it a nice shape.

Immortal of Italy in winter:

If your climate allows it (at least Mediterranean climate, you can keep it in winter from year to year.

For more safety and in colder regions, a good mulch at the foot of your immortelles will protect the roots from frost.

Good to know about the Italian Immortal

Helichrysum is bushy and adapts perfectly to perennial beds, but also in container culture.

  • Easy to grow, she particularly appreciates maritime environments.
  • She embalms with thecurry spice smell that she gives off.

Helichrysum takes its name from Greek ‘helios‘Which means" sun "and‘chrysos ’, which means "gold" thus referring to the golden yellow color of its flowers.

If it is nicknamed Immortal it is because its dry flowers have such a lifespan thatshe becomes immortal

His gray foliage, quite bright, can sometimes recall that of lavender.

Use of Helichrysum

The flowering tops ofHelichrysum italicum are distilled to produce an essential oil.

We use the foliage to flavor dishes because its aroma is similar to that of curry.

Be careful, however, of do not swallow the leaves because they are indigestible and can cause digestive disorders

This plant is also used to make essential oils or for his medicinal virtues. Indeed, their essential oils have recognized antioxidant, antibacterial, analgesic and antifungal properties.

The oils are also used in the treatment of bruises, which has led to its nickname Boxer Oil.

  • To read also: benefits and virtues of curry for health

Advice on the immortal of Italy

If you dread plants that require too much maintenance, choose helichrysum.


Photo © Svetlana Parshakova

Video: Harvesting and distillation helichrysum italicum - eko aromatik (October 2020).