curry plant, immortelle, everlasting
Small evergreen shrub in the daisy family (Asteraceae), native to Southern Europe. Linear, silvery, curry-scented leaves. Clusters of yellow flower heads during summer. Essential oil extracted from Helichrysum italicum is used for medicinal purposes.
Synonym: Helichrysum angustifolium.
Prefers a sunny position in light, well-draining soil, but can cope with semi-shade and somewhat heavier soils. Not tolerant of full shade. Suitable for poor soils. Drought-tolerant once established. Prune once or twice a year to keep compact. Tolerates moderate frosts to about -10oC.
The curry scent is very intense, so plant it where you can enjoy the aroma without it overpowering other fragrances in your garden. Helichrysum italicum forms a delicate colour and textural combination with purple sage (see photo gallery). I have used the leaves in cooking, but they did not actually seem to add anything in terms of taste. The flowers retain their colour well after cutting and drying.
Type of plantShrub - Evergreen
Size0.6 x 0.8 m
Landscape Usescent, foliage colour, dry areas, coastal gardens, container plant, cut or dried flowers
- Temperature: Half hardy
- Light: Medium High
- Moisture: Low Medium
- Soil: Light Medium
- Wind tolerance: Average
- Coastal tolerance: High