Botanical Name :Heleniuim autumnale
Family : Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus : Helenium L. – sneezeweed
Species : Helenium autumnale L. – common sneezeweed
Kingdom : Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom : Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division : Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class : Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass : Asteridae
Order : Asterales
Common Name : Bitterweed,common sneezeweed and large-flowered sneezeweed
Helenium autumnale is a Herbaceous perennial flowering plant. The plant is 3-5′ tall, branching occasionally, with ridged stems. The alternate leaves are up to 5″ long and 2″ across, and clasp the stems. They have a prominent central vein and margins that are smooth or slightly serrate. Their shape may be lanceolate, oblanceolate, or oblong. The numerous composite flowers are yellow and 2-3″ across, with a spheroid disk that is quite prominent among the surrounding ray florets. The latter are broader at their tips than toward the base, and doubly notched, creating an interesting effect. They bloom for a month or more, often until late into the fall. The root system is shallow and fibrous.
Common sneezeweed is cultivated as a garden perennial. There are multiple named varieties varying in color and height. ‘Pumilum Magnificum’ is a yellow variety about two feet tall. ‘Bruno’, a reddish brown cultivar, ‘Kupfersprudel’, which is yellow/orange, and ‘Butterpat’, which is golden, all grow 3 to 3.5 feet tall. ‘Chippersfield Orange’ is up to 4 feet tall and is orange streaked with gold.
The flowers and leaves have been snuffed to cause sneezing and clear nasal passages, and to treat colds. The plant parts and flowers have been used to treat intestinal worms. They have been thought to be poisonous to fish and insects. The powdered leaves are sternutatory. An infusion of the leaves is laxative and alterative. An infusion of the stems has been used as a wash in the treatment of fevers. The plant contains helenalin, a compound that has shown significant anti-tumor activity.
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
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