Elecampane is a perennial herb common to damp pastures and fields and roadsides in the eastern and central portions of the U.S. and Canada. The plant grows anywhere from 3 to 6 feet in height, has a stout, branched stem rising from a basal rosette type of large ovate, pointed leaves, and manifests bright yellow flower heads during mid-to-late summer. These flower heads are usually 4 inches wide and look like small sunflowers. The root is large, heavy, long and white inside but yellow on the outside, and emits an odor similar to violets in bloom.Elecampane inherits two of its common names from its early medical applications. Horseheal was derived from its use by veterinarians in treating pulmonary disorders in horses. Scabwort came from the herb's reputed effectiveness in healing scabs on sheep.
Elecampane is a beautiful herb whose leaves resemble those of the mullein plant, and whose flowers look like sunflowers. The plant can be found growing wild throughout Europe and the temperate zones of Asia, as far as southern Siberia and northwestern India. In North America, elecampane grows from Nova Scotia to North Carolina, and then westward to Missouri. Elecampane is a tall plant-it reaches heights of 4 to 6 feet. Elecampane has a stout, deeply furrowed stem which is branched at the top. At its base, the down-covered plant displays a rosette of large, oval leaves that are 1 to 1 1/2 feet long and up to 4 inches across. These leaves are downy and have toothed margins.