Inula is a large genus of about 90 species of flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe, Asia and Africa. The genus is thought by some to be paraphyletic, based on the study of the different phenolic compounds the various species have.
They are mostly perennial herbs that vary greatly in size, from small species a few centimeters tall to enormous perennials over 3 meters tall.
Some common characteristics include pappus with bristles, flat capitulum, and lack of chaff.
Several species are popular flowers for the garden, with cultivation going back to antiquity. The name Inula was already used by the Romans and derived from Helen of Troy fame. The smaller species are used in rock gardens and the more common larger ones, which tend to have very coarse foliage, in borders.
* Flora Europaea: Inula
Source: Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License