One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An American plant of the daisy family, which bears many red to yellow flowers, each having a prominent central disk.
Genus Helenium, family Compositae: many species, especially the sneezeweeds
- ‘Heleniumshave a longer and more showy flowering period if rejuvenated from year to year.’
- ‘For such a man these herbs should be used: lupin, helenium (which we call elf-dock), marsh mallow, dock elder, wormwood and strawberry leaves.’
- ‘Inula helenium, a large plant, related to the sunflower, which grows wild in Europe and has become naturalized in N. America.’
- ‘Dead-head daisies and heleniums to lengthen their season.’
Modern Latin, from Greek helenion. The term originally denoted the herb elecampane, possibly in commemoration of Helen of Troy (said to have planted elecampane on the island of Pharos); the current designation was adopted by Linnaeus in the 18th century.
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