Curry Plant, Immortelle, Helichrysum italicum

helichrysum italicum

What is Curry Plant?

This curry plant is not the curry leaf Tree, Murraya koedigii, a tropical trees whose leaves are used in curries. This tree would probably be difficult to overwinter in the Upper Mountains, please tell me if it worked for you!

This so called curry plant is a member of the Asteraceae plant family and is native to the Mediterranean region, where it’s been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.

Medical Use of Curry Plant:

Traditionally, herbalists have used the herb for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, specifically for wounds, cuts, abrasions, and scars. European researchers have found that the helichrysum oil can reduce tissue pain, improve overall skin conditions, increase circulatory function, reduce cholesterol, stimulate liver cell activity, and reduce skin discoloration and scarring. It is a known mucolytic, antifungal, expectorant, anticoagulant, antispasmodic and anticatarrhal.

The herb has been used by various African cultures. The Xhosa for example used it to treat wounds topically, and the Zulu and Xhosa burned the leaves of the plant as an incense for ceremonial rituals. It was also revered as a powerful aphrodisiac for attracting a lover.

Immortelle is the sought after essential oil distilled of helichrysum.

Curry Plant in the Kitchen:

In the kitchen it has a somewhat sweet, spicy and flowery note. The flavour is somewhat mild and chopped fine it compliments  eggs, yogurt, mild cheeses and even fish. It enhances vinegar blends and makes a nice garnish, too.
The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in Summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements, herb wreats, or potpourri.

How to Grow Curry Plant

It prefers well draining soil, full sun and warm conditions. It’s a perfect choice for intermittent drought prone areas or for a xeriscaped garden.It performs well in poor soil.

Height: 60 cm

Hardiness: Perennial, USDA Zones 8-11

Flower Color: Yellow Common names: Immortelle, Everlasting, Helichrysum, Golden Eternal Flower, Strawflower, Curry Plant, Immortelle, Licorice Plant.

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Height + Width:

Frost Hardiness: Hardy in Katoomba




Country of Origin: Eastern Cape of South Africa


Common names: African Dream Root, Undlela Ziimhlophe (White Ways/Paths), Ubulawu



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