Helichrysum italicum

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Helichrysum italicum
Helichrysum italicum (immortelle).JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Helichrysum
H. italicum
Binomial name
Helichrysum italicum

Helichrysum angustifolium

Helichrysum italicum is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves.[1] Other common names include Italian strawflower and immortelle. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 centimetres (24 in) or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.

It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.[2]

This plant is sometimes used as a spice. Although called "curry plant" and smelling like curry powder, it is not related with this mixture of spices, nor with the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), and is not used as masala for curry dishes either. Rather, it has a resinous, somewhat bitter aroma reminiscent of sage or wormwood[citation needed] and its young shoots and leaves are often used stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes until they have imparted their flavour, and removed before serving.[citation needed]


Helichrysum italicum is a tender perennial (USDA Zones 7–10). It is propagated by rooting semi-hardwood cuttings in summer and overwintering in frost-free conditions.[3]

In Maltese it is called pjanta tal-curry.


  1. ^ "Helichrysum Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses, and Precautions". Healthline. 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2021-03-07.
  2. ^ Inflammation: Natural Resources and Its Applications by Parag Jain, Ravindra Pandey, Shiv Shankar Shukla: Springer, India 2015 p.47
  3. ^ "Helichrysum italicum (Curry Plant)". Gardenia.net. Retrieved 2021-03-07.


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