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Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)Curry Plant (Helichrysum italicum)

Curry Plants

Helichrysum italicum

The details

Helichrysum italicum

  • Height x Spread: 50cm x 100cm
  • Silvery leaves
  • Yellow flower clusters in Jul-Aug
  • Uses: culinary, stewing
  • Taste: mild, slightly bitter. Notes of sage and wormwood.
  • Deer resistant
  • Evergreen perennial. Hardiness H4
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators.
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Description

Helichrysum italicum, Curry Plant. p9 Pots

From a distance, at first glance, its silvery-grey foliage and mounded habit look a lot like lavender, but its rich curry aroma is worlds apart. The yellow flower clusters are held on long stems and put on a great show, attracting an impressive array of insects.

It is a stewing herb, used to impart a sage-like, earthy, slightly bitter, quite mild flavour. Jekka McVicar, queen of herbs, advises to use sparingly in cooking: "they do not taste as good as they smell"!

Browse all of our Mediterranean herbs, or all of our herbs & vegetables.

Features

  • Height x Spread: 50cm x 100cm
  • Silvery leaves
  • Yellow flower clusters in Jul-Aug
  • Uses: culinary, stewing
  • Taste: mild, slightly bitter. Notes of sage and wormwood.
  • Harvest: all year
  • Deer resistant
  • Evergreen perennial. Hardiness H4
  • RHS Plants for Pollinators.

Growing Curry Plants

A classic Mediterranean herb, it loves full sun and sharply drained soil, on the poor side. In the South, it is happy in exposed locations but prefers shelter further North to keep cold, dry winds off it. Water-logging in winter will probably kill it, so it makes a great rockery plant.

Trim your plants in early spring and again in Autumn to encourage more foliage and to stop them becoming leggy. You can prune older plants down to old wood if necessary.

Keep watering to a minimum for established plants.

In Your Garden Design

Grow with other sun-loving herbs that are happy in well-drained soils, such as lavender, bay and rosemary. It looks very good singly in a pot and its yellow flowers can be dried and put into winter richly-scented floral displays.

Did You Know?

Despite the name curry plant, it is not used in curries, and is no relation to the curry tree Murraya koenigii, an Asian native. The oil extract is antibacterial and is used on both skin and inhaled via a diffuser.

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