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a genus of herbaceous perennials, sometimes bushes, of the family Compositae. The leaves are entire. The flower heads are either large and solitary or small and numerous, for the most part forming cymose inflorescences. The florets are usually yellow, with the central ones being bell-shaped and the outer ones, strap-shaped. There are about 150 species (up to 200 according to other data) in Eurasia and Africa, but chiefly in the Mediterranean region. In the USSR there are more than 30 species, primarily in the mountains of the Caucasus and Middle Asia. A widespread variety is elecampane (/. helenium), which is found in moist places near bodies of water, in thickets, deciduous and pine forests, and in meadows. Its rhizome and roots contain inulin and volatile oil, including alantolactone. Preparations of elecampane are used as expectorants. There are Inula species that are used as ornamentals and for dyes.
REFERENCESAvetisian, V. E. “Kavkazskie predstaviteli rodaInula L.” In Trudy Botanicheskogo instituta AN Armianskoi SSR, vol. 11. Yerevan, 1958.
Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.