Helichrysum stoechas is an annual or perennial plant growing up to 60cm, with linear or lanceolate, gray-green leaves and small, spherical, yellow flowers in inflorescences. The flowering and harvesting take place in early spring.
The long narrow, bright silver leaves practically shimmer in the sunlight. These are fantastic plants to use in landscape design, as they provide a neutral color that can be used with virtually any other colored plant. It looks great in mixed containers, perennial flower beds and window boxes.
Several species are grown as ornamental plants, and for dried flowers. When cut young and dried, the open flowers and stalks preserve their colour and shape for long periods.
Helichrysum italicum (synonym Helichrysum angustifolium) is steam distilled to produce a yellow-reddish essential oil popular in fragrance for its unique scent, best described as a mixture of burnt sugar and ham.