Helenium autumnale. Sneezewort.
Nat. Ord. — Asteraceae. Sex. Syst. — Syngenesia Superflua.
Description. — This plant, likewise called Swamp, or False Sunflower, has a perennial fibrous root, with several angular branching, minutely pubescent stems, two or three feet high, and strongly winged by the decurrent leaves. The leaves are smooth or slightly pubescent, alternate, sessile, decurrent, lanceolate, acuminate, unequally serrate, punctate. The flowers are large, numerous, of a bright-yellow color, loosely corymbose. Peduncles axillary, one-flowered, thicker above. Involucre with linear-acute scales. Disk semi-globose. Rays flat, cuneate, three to five-lobed. Pappus of five membranous, subulate, and awned scales.
History. — Sneezewort grows in all parts of the United States, flourishing best in meadows, moist fields, and other low damp grounds, and flowering from August to October. It has scarcely any smell, but a bitter, somewhat pungent or acrid taste. It has not been analyzed.
Properties and Uses. — Tonic, diaphoretic, and errhine. Useful in intermittent and other febrile diseases. The whole plant possesses errhine properties ; but the flowers, and especially the central florets, are the most active, and may be used in powder, as a snuff in headache, catarrh, deafness, and other affections where errhines are desired.