Helichrysum

Annual or perennial herbs or shrublets with capitula solitary, in small groups or in tight clusters. Capitula are heterogamous disciform (or rarely homogamous discoid). Involucral bracts are generally colourful: white, yellow, red, pink, straw-coloured or brown. Flowers 22500. Female florets are yellow, pistillate, filiform, and are fewer than the disc florets. Disc florets perfect. Pappus bristles are generally in one row and not fused at the base. 585 species worldwide mainly Africa & Madagascar, also Europe & Asia.

Dolichothrix

Woody plants, stunted from growing in rock crevices. Leaves minute, scale-like, densely appressed, very densely glandular. Capitula solitary or 24 terminally on branches; 2428-flowered. Involucral bracts milky white, reflexed in upper part. Florets yellow. Cypselas very densely hairy, with twin-hairs. Monotypic Western & Eastern Cape endemic.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its scale-like leaves and lack of female florets.

 
D. ericoides D. ericoides

Edmondia

Perennial herbs or shrublets, sprawling, ascending or erect. Leaves ascending, erect or appressed, subulate to linear-lanceolate. Capitula large, broadly campanulate, mostly solitary. Involucral bracts white, pink or yellow, radiate, much exceeding the florets. Flowers 85315. 3 species endemic to Western Cape.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its xeromorphic, concave, adaxially tomentose leaves.

 
E. sesamoides E. sesamoides E. sesamoides

Galeomma

Prostrate woolly annual herb. Capitula discoid or disciform, in terminal clusters embedded in wool of surrounding leaves. 2 species endemic to southern Africa.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its fenestrated stereome and very acute to acuminate involucral bracts, and by the female florets outnumbering the hermaphrodite florets.

 
G. oculus-cati G. oculus-cati

Gnaphalium

Perennial or annual herbs. Branches never long and straggling. Capitula disciform, few together, terminal or racemosely arranged. Involucral bracts in few rows, light brown, cream or white; stereome undivided. Cypselas small, oblong, glabrous or sparsely hairy with twin-hairs. 80 species worldwide cosmopolitan, 14 species in southern Africa.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its purple female florets, which outnumber the disc florets.

 
G. capense G. capense G. limicola G. limicola

Helichrysopsis

Perennial herbs. Stems much branched, spreading, ashy grey, closely leafy. Capitula disciform, narrowly campanulate, few clustered at branchlet tips. Involucral bracts in 4 rows, outer short and pale brown, inner with tips milk-white, stereome undivided. Female florets outnumbering disc florets. Pappus bristles apically plumose, basally connate. Cypselas with globose, myxogenic twin-hairs. Monotypic KZN and Mozambique coast.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its strongly revolute leaf margins and female florets outnumbering the disc florets.

 

Lasiopogon

Annual herbs, small, prostrate and woolly. Capitula disciform, campanulate, closely surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in 2 or 3 rows, whitish or straw-coloured. 8 species in southern Africa and rest of Africa, 1 species also in Spain & India.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its disciform capitula.

 
L. micropoides L. micropoides

Phaenocoma

Rigid, erect shrubs. Branches covered in brachyblasts borne at right angles to the main branch; branches and brachyblasts densely covered in small, fleshy, knob-like leaves. Capitula large, with 8001000 florets. Involucre bright pink but fading with age; lamina of involucral bracts up to 22 mm long. Monotypic Western Cape endemic.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its minute leaves, purple female and disc florets, and disc florets outnumbering the female florets.

 
P. prolifera P. prolifera P. prolifera

Pseudognaphalium

Annual, biennial or perennial herbs. Capitula disciform, in small clusters corymbosely or cymosely arranged. Involucral bracts in 3 or 4 rows, white, yellow or cream. 90 species in Africa, Asia, Europe and America 3 widespread in southern Africa.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its disciform capitula, translucent involucral bracts and scabrid pappus bristles.

 
P. oligandrum P. oligandrum P. oligandrum

Syncarpha

Perennial shrubs. Leaves alternate, sessile. Capitula discoid, solitary or few together. Involucral bracts white, yellow, pink or brown. Pappus bristles fused at the base in a smooth ring, shaft usually plumose, rarely barbellate or smooth. 25 species Western & Eastern Cape.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by the homogamous and discoid capitula, pappus bristles that are connate in groups, undivided stereome, and myxogenic cypsela hairs.

 
S. chlorochysum S. vestita S. paniculata

Tenrhynea

Shrubby perennial, branches loosely leafy. Leaves revolute, decurrent, glabrous above, white-tomentose below. Capitula disciform, cylindric, in small terminal clusters, often further aggregated into spreading corymbose panicles. Involucral bracts pink or white, in several rows, radiating. Receptacle paleate. Cypselas with scattered, short, clavate myxogenic hairs. Monotypic in eastern & northern parts of South Africa.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its paleate receptacle and narrow decurrent leaves.

 
Tenrhynea sp. Tenrhynea sp. Tenrhynea sp.

Troglophyton

Delicate annual or short-lived perennials with an effuse habit. Leaves small, on filiform petioles, both surfaces cobwebby or woolly. Capitula discoid or disciform, small, few, on filiform peduncles. 6 species endemic to southern Africa.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its purple female and disc florets.

 
Troglophyton sp.

Vellereophyton

Grey or white-woolly annual or weakly perennial grey-woolly herbs. Leaves small to medium-sized, oblanceolate or spathulate. Capitula up to 4 x 3 mm, disciform or discoid, very small, few or many, almost sessile in woolly glomerules. Involucral bracts with opaque white tips; pappus bristles subplumose in upper part. 7 species endemic to southern Africa. One species naturalised in Australia & New Zealand.

Distinguished from Helichrysum by its purple female and disc florets.

 
V. dealbatum V. dealbatum V. dealbatum