Helichrysum italicum is a species of flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. Other common names include Italian strawflower and immortelle. 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.
It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.
This plant is sometimes used as a spice. Although called "curry plant" and smelling like curry powder, it is not related with this mixture of spices, nor with the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), and is not used as masala for curry dishes either. Rather, it has a resinous, somewhat bitter aroma reminiscent of sage or wormwood and its young shoots and leaves are often used stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes until they have imparted their flavour, and removed before serving.
Helichrysum umbraculigerum contains compounds structurally similar to Cannabigerol and Cannabichromene. More specifically Helichrysum umbraculigeum contains Heli-CBG, a phenylethyl analog of CBG and Heli-CBGs carboxy acid methyl ester derivative. Heli-CBG has lower cannabinoid activity than CBG itself. Hei-CBG has similar TRPV1 activity as CBG but lower activity on other TRPV receptors.  It's not known to contain CBG itself.
Helichrysum italicum is a tender perennial (USDA Zones 7–10). It is propagated by rooting semi-hardwood cuttings in summer and overwintering in frost-free conditions.
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- Plants for a Future database
- Media related to Helichrysum italicum at Wikimedia Commons