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Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
Hardy to all temperate zones.
Herbaceous perennial. Native to southern and central Europe, the Balkan Peninsula and central Asia. Giant plant bearing handsome, yellow flowers. Harvest the octopus-like roots in the fall of the second year’s growth. Cough and lung remedy, bitter and antiseptic. Elecampane has a strong activity against bronchial infection, pneumonia and debilitating, chronic cough. The plant is processed to yield a blue dye. Cultivation: Easy. Sow seed in greenhouse in early spring or sow directly in garden in mid-spring. Light-dependent germinator (plant on surface or only very shallowly covered, so light can penetrate). Expect excellent germination in about 12 days. After second set of leaves appear, transplant seedlings out to the garden, even if you still expect a few frosts. Grows in full sun or partial shade. Plant 2 feet apart. This is pure seed, with pappus removed.
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