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Inula helenium - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-210.jpg
Inula helenium[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Subfamily: Asteroideae
Tribe: Inuleae[2]
Genus: Inula
  • Petrollinia Chiov.
  • Corvisartia Mérat
  • Bojeria DC. 1836 not Raf. 1836 (Zingiberaceae)
  • Cupularia Godr. & Gren.
  • Orsina Bertol.
  • Eritheis Gray
  • Codonocephalum Fenzl
Inula helenium
Inula oculus-christi
Ploughman's-spikenard (Inula conyzae)

Inula is a large genus of about 90 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa.

They may be annuals, herbaceous perennials or subshrubs that vary greatly in size, from small species a few centimeters tall to enormous perennials over 3 m (10 ft) tall. They carry yellow daisy-like composite flowerheads often with narrow ray-florets.

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

Several species are popular flowers for the garden, with cultivation going back to antiquity. The name Inula was already used by the Romans and derived from Helen of Troy fame.[3] The smaller species are used in rock gardens and the more common larger ones, which tend to have very coarse foliage, in borders.

Selected species[edit]

Select species formerly in Inula[edit]


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


  1. ^ 1897 illustration from Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler's Medizinal-Pflanzen
  2. ^ a b Flann, C (ed) 2009+ Global Compositae Checklist
  3. ^ Melderis, A. (2007). A Handbook of British Flowering Plants. READ BOOKS. p. 271. ISBN 1-4067-6632-1. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

External links[edit]