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Helichrysum italicum seed

Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)

Helichrysum italicum is a small perennial shrubby herb with narrow, silver-hairy leaves and small, yellow dry (straw -like) flowers. The flowers are a cluster of golden yellow ball shaped blossoms, the leaves are delicate and oblong, which when crushed release a distinct aroma. It is a wonderful plant to grow in the garden, for both its curry aroma and simple beauty. The aroma of the essential oil has been exquisitely described by Holmes (n/d), as being: a deeply-saturated sweet, green floral scent. The name Immortelle or Everlasting comes about for this plant as it retains its yellow color even when dried.

It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 centimetres (24 in) 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 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 aroma.

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