Herbs & Plants

Helenium puberulum

Botanical Name: Helenium puberulum
Family: Asteraceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Helenium
Species: H. puberulum

*Cephalophora decurrens Less.
*Helenium decurrens (Less.) Vatke

Common name: Rosilla

Habitat: Helenium puberulum is native to California and Baja California, where it can be found in moist habitats such as riverbanks and meadows. It has also been found in Oregon, although these might possibly be naturalized populations.

Helenium puberulum is an annual or perennial herb sometimes as much as 160 cm tall though other times much smaller. Most of the leaves are on the lower part of the plant. Stems are winged, meaning that they have flaps of tissue running down the sides. One plant can produce as many as 30 flower heads in a branched array. The head is unusual in that the part covered by the disc florets is almost completely spherical rather than conical as in most other species of the genus. There can sometimes be over 1000 small disc florets in the head, each yellow at the bottom but brown or purple toward the tip. The 13-17 yellow ray florets are small and inconspicuous, pointing backwards down the flower stalk. Sometimes the ray florets are completely absent. The fruit is a hairy achene one to two millimeters long.


Grows well in ordinary garden soil, succeeding in most conditions other than boggy soils. It prefers a fertile moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Dislikes dry soil. An annual or short-lived perennial, this species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. A good bee and butterfly plant.

Through seeds – sow spring in a greenhouse. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer. If you have sufficient seed it would be worthwhile trying a sowing in situ outdoors in mid to late spring.

Edible Uses: Leaves and flowering heads are edible, eaten – raw

Medicinal Uses:
Antiscorbutic, tonic. The dried powdered plant has been applied to wounds and has also been rubbed onto the forehead and nose in the treatment of colds. It has been used as a snuff. The plant has also been used in the treatment of venereal disease.
(Antiscorbutic, tonic. The dried powdered plant has been applied to wounds and has also been rubbed onto the forehead and nose in the treatment of colds.

Other Uses:
When the flowers first appear, they’re a sunny yellow. This flower is a favorite for various birds like goldfinches and is a highly desirable stop for various pollinating insects. Butterflies enjoy the nectar and use it as a food source during migration.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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