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Helichrysum italicum - (Roth.)G.Don.

Common Name Curry Plant
Family Asteraceae or Compositae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Arid hills, rocks and cliffs[190]
Range S. Europe.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Helichrysum italicum Curry Plant

Helichrysum italicum Curry Plant


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Helichrysum italicum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


H. angustifolium. (Lam.)DC.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Leaves - used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods[183, 238, 244]. They have a slight flavour of curry, though they do not impart this very well to other foods[K]. An essential oil (from the leaves?) is used as a flavouring to enhance fruit flavours in sweets, ice cream, baked goods, soft drinks and chewing gum[183]. A tea is made from the flower heads[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge

Plants can be grown as a low hedge, the subspecies H. italicum serotinum(Boiss.)P.Fourn. is normally used[29]. It responds well to trimming.

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a light well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered position[1, 200]. Intolerant of excessive moisture[1]. Established plants are drought resistant[190]. Plants have proved to be fairly wind tolerant in an exposed site in Cornwall[K]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -10°c[200]. Plants can be pruned back to the old wood in spring in order to maintain the shape of the plant and promote lots of new growth[238]. The whole plant smells of curry, especially after rain[238]. The flowering stems are often dried and used as 'everlasting flowers'[238]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed - sow February/March in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5cm with a heel, June/July in a frame. Roots in 4 weeks. Good percentage[78].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Helichrysum apiculatumCommon Everlasting FlowerShrub0.6 8-11  LMHSNM01 
Helichrysum arenariumEverlasting FlowerPerennial0.3 4-8  LMNDM02 
Helichrysum orientale Perennial0.3 6-9  LMNDM002
Helichrysum stoechas Perennial0.5 7-10  LMNDM01 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Naomie Poran   Sat Apr 23 06:41:31 2005

Medicinal Uses Helichrysum italicum "None known"

It's one of the most healing/regenerative oils in aromatherapy. Otherwise your site is very informative, thank you.

Mike West   Sat Aug 26 2006

Haha that's funny... no known medicinal uses? Just stress and pain relief, bruise treatment, scar reduction, strains and sprains, little things like that. :)

gene Martin   Thu Nov 9 2006

Gene Martin, longtime american resident of Paris, France: Hélichrysum italicum ssp serotinum is supposedly native to Corsica according to French language aromatherapy and other websites. For your info.

Ken Fern, Plants for a Future.   Wed Nov 15 2006

According the the Flora Europaea, subsp serotinum is found in southwestern Europe, whilst it is subsp microphyllum that is found on the islands of the Mediterranean.

paul dobinson   Thu Feb 1 2007

almost true. great smell, and heals yr ails. not many people believe the 'curry plant' is real.

Aston   Thu May 17 2007

This plant got me into gardening as a kid. However, always been a bit concerned by eating curry plant as was shown a book stating that it was a poison used by the Romans. Can anyone shed light on this?

Andy Gray   Sat Jul 7 2007

'Medicinal Uses - None known' Can you update this incorrect information please? It has the effect of making people distrust any other information on the website. This is one of the most potent natural remedies there is.

ANGE SANTONI   Sun Aug 3 2008

hi, we strongly disagree about your various comments on helichrysum italicum : -'Medicinal Uses - None known' -"it was a poison used by the Romans" Please visit http://www.helichrysum-italicum.com/ to update your files. And if you have time : http://www.crenacare.com/

Helichrysum Italicum the power of a flower

shan   Sun May 11 2008

what is deifference between curry plant and curry leave used in cooking? they looked so different.

Lia de Ruiter   Fri May 16 2008

Tea made from the leaves of Helichrysum italicum will soothe pains in the abdomen. One should not ingest the leaves or any part of the plant. If used in cooking, remove the leaves (or braches) before serving the food.

chip   Mon Jan 11 2010

informative site with references

   Jul 24 2013 12:00AM

I have one for you... I actually healed a 7 year old of skin lesions that had been diagnosed as MRSA (staph) that could not be eradicated through conventional means, with NO SCARING. I was amazed myself! Not only that, another with "crippling" arthritis. This plant in an essential oil state is extremely powerful, and gentile as a topical. Never heard of drinking a tea from it myself.

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