Helichrysum augustifolium is a small, furry looking, very fragrant sage-green perennial that smells like curry cooking in your favorite Kadhai Paneer recipe. We received a small shipment of this unique plant recently and customers asked whether it's edible, medicinal or what.
So we did a little research. Come to find out, although nontoxic, Helichrysum angustifolium isn't known or used as an edible herb, especially one that would take the place of curry spice. Rather, it is known for its medicinal value. Native to lands touching the Mediterranean Sea, this delicious smelling herb has been used as a tea for tending to lung ailments, and steeped for essential oils to be mixed and diluted with other plant oils, such as sweet Imperial Valley Almond, to make skin creams for countering the effects of the sun or other burn sources. As a skin cream, it is said to have a positive, calming and preserving effect on sensitive skin.
That's what Curry Plant lovers say. For the love of simply growing Helichrysum angustifolium, it does well, both as a ground cover and as a container plant. If given ideal conditions (a good, well drained soil with plenty of sun, a periodic but controlled water schedule and some of that old time green interest and attention), it will produce little beautiful yellow flowers on top of its equally beautiful silvery foliage.
There is also Helichrysum Italicum, which may or may not be the same plant. This one, too, is not used as a spice for curry flavor; the essential oil is its utility. Both types work well and look great in a xeric theme. The added characteristic that makes this plant even more fun is that it makes its garden spot smell simply, gastronomically delicious, something you can consider when deciding its location.