inula helenium


Inula is a large genus of about 90 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. It has been reported that this genus is paraphyletic, based on chemical data of the phenolic compounds of this genus.

These are mostly perennial herbs. The species vary greatly in size, from tiny species for rock gardens to enormous perennials reaching a height of over 3 metres. This genus shows equally a marked difference in the size of the leaves.

Some common characteristics include pappus with bristles, flat capitulum, and lack of chaff.

Several species are popular flowers for the garden, going back to antiquity. The name Inula was already used by the Romans.

Selected species

  • Inula acaulis Schott & Kotschy ex Tchihat. – Stemless Inula
  • Inula acervata S.Moore
  • Inula acinacifolia Gand.
  • Inula acuminata DC.
  • Inula anatolica Boiss.
  • Inula auriculata Boiss. & Balansa
  • Inula bifrons (L.) L.
  • Inula britannica L. – British Yellowhead
  • Inula candida (L.) Cass.
  • Inula cappa (Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don) DC.
  • Inula caspica Blume
  • Inula clarkei (Hook.f.) R.R.Stewart
  • Inula conyzae (Griess.) Meikle – Plougman's-spikenard
  • Inula crithmoides L. – Golden Samphire (syn. Limbarda crithmoides (L.) Dum.)
  • Inula cuspidata
  • Inula ensifolia L.
  • Inula eupatorioides DC.
  • Inula falconeri Hook.f.
  • Inula forrestii
  • Inula germanica L.
  • Inula grandis Schrenk ex Fisch. & C. A. Mey.
  • Inula helenioides DC.
  • Inula helenium L. – Elecampane
  • Inula helianthus-aquatica
  • Inula helvetica Weber
  • Inula hirta L.
  • Inula hookeri C. B. Clarke
  • Inula hupehensis
  • Inula japonica
  • Inula koelzii R.Dawar & Qaiser
  • Inula lineariifolia Turcz.
  • Inula montana L.
  • Inula multicaulis Boiss.
  • Inula nervosa
  • Inula obtusifolia A.Kern.
  • Inula oculus-christi L.
  • Inula orientalis Lam.
  • Inula pterocaula
  • Inula racemosa Hook.f.
  • Inula rhizocephala Schrenk ex Fisch. & C. A. Mey.
  • Inula rhizocephaloides
  • Inula royleana DC. (synonym of Inula racemosa Hook.f.)
  • Inula rubricaulis
  • Inula salicina L. – Irish Fleabane, Willowleaf Yellowhead
  • Inula salsoloides
  • Inula sericophylla
  • Inula spiraeifolia L.
  • Inula stewartii Abid & Qaiser
  • Inula subfloccosa Rech.f.
  • Inula thapsoides Spreng.
  • Inula verbascifolia (Willd.) Hausskn.
  • Inula wissmanniana

Inula species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the following case-bearers of the genus Coleophora; C. conyzae (recorded on I. conyzae), C. follicularis, C. inulae and C. troglodytella.


  • Flora Europaea: Inula
  • Flora of China: list of Chinese Inula species
  • Anderberg, A. (1991). "Taxonomy and phylogeny of tribe Inuleae (Asteraceae)". Pl. Syst. Evol. 176 75–123.
  • Rubina Abid and M. Qaiser (2003). "Chemotoxonomic study of Inula L. (s.str.) and its allied genera (Inuleae - Compositae) from Pakistan and Kashmir". Pak. J. Bot. 35 (2): 127–140.

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