Helichrysum Italicum – Curry Plant
H. italicum is a small bushy evergreen sub-shrub with linear, silvery-grey, curry-scented leaves, and small yellow flowerheads in domed clusters
Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 cm 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.
The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which is used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent. It soothes burns and raw chapped skin. It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.
This plant is sometimes used as a spice. Although called “curry plant” and smelling like curry powder, it has nothing whatsoever to do 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 and is used like these: the young shoots and leaves are stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes till they have imparted their flavor, and removed before serving.
2017 from small plant
Diseases and Proplems:
Pests: Generally pest free
Diseases: May be subject to powdery mildews
Cultivation: Grow in a poor to moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in full sun. Protect from winter wet and cold dry winds
Propagation: Propagate by rooting semi-hardwood cuttings of shrubby species in summer and overwinter in frost-free conditions
Pruning, when required, is generally carried out in mid to late spring
Sunlight: Full Sun
- Aspect: South-facing or East-facing or West-facing
- Exposure: Sheltered
- Ultimate height: 0.1-0.5 metres
- Ultimate spread: 0.5-1 metres
- Time to ultimate height: 2-5 years
- Moisture: Well-drained
- Soil: Chalk, Loam
- pH: Alkaline, Neutral