• WordNet 3.6
    • n Helenium genus of American herbs with flowers having yellow rays: sneezeweeds
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n helenium Elecampane: used as a specific name.
    • n helenium [capitalized] A genus of composite plants, founded by Linnæus in 1753, the type of the tribe Helenioideæ. It is characterized by radiate heads, narrow involucral bracts in one or two series, reflexed after flowering, and truncate branches of the style. It comprises herbs with alternate, often decurrent, chiefly entire leaves, and peduncled solitary or loosely corymbose heads of yellow flowers. There are about 18 species, natives of North and Central America. The best-known species, H. autumnale, is common in alluvial bottoms of the eastern United States, and is called sneezeweed, from its effect on the nose. The leaves and flowers snuffed up in the state of powder produce violent sneezing, and have been used as an errhine. It is also called false sunflower. H. tenuifolium of the southern United States is said to be very poisonous, producing spasms and loss of consciousness.
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In literature:

The Elecampane (I. Helenium) is an imposing, robust-growing species, having large, broad leaves a foot or more in length.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 433, April 19, 1884" by Various
Inula Helenium meinlen (Elecampane) .
"Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from Worcester to Shrewsbury" by J. Randall
It may be driven away by smoke, especially by that from inula helenium, elecampane; and by that of cannabis, hemp.
"The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society" by Erasmus Darwin
Ward's paste, consisting of black pepper and the powdered root of Helenium Enula.
"Zoonomia, Vol. II" by Erasmus Darwin
Of Sneezeweed (Helenium), with its pappus of five scales.
"The Elements of Botany" by Asa Gray
The late blossomers, however, can be saved until early spring, like Asters, and Heleniums.
"Garden Ornaments" by Mary H. Northend