Origin of name:

albo = white

brunneum = dark

Diagnostic characters:


Solitary large heads

White bracts tipped brown


Perennial herb with several leaf rosettes crowning a slender woody rhizome, flowering stems simple, somewhat decumbent then erect to c. 150�300 mm, loosely greyish-white woolly, closely leafy. Radical leaves c. 30�80 x 10�35 mm, obovate or oblong-obovate, apex subacute, base slightly narrowed, clasping, both surfaces densely grey-woolly, cauline leaves similar, becoming oblong-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate and smaller upwards, appressed. Heads homogamous or occasionally heterogamous, broadly campanulate, c. 7�15 mm long, solitary or up to c. 14 crowded at the stem tip. Involucral bracts in c. 8�12 series, graded, loosely imbricate, much exceeding flowers, radiating, outer glossy white, tipped dark or light brown, becoming pure white inwards. Receptacle with fimbrils equaling or exceeding ovaries. Flowers 50�335, rarely 2�7 female, yellow sometimes tipped purplish. Achenes c. 1 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, barbellate above, bases cohering by patent cilia.


Flowering mainly between December and February.


Grows in colonies in short turf, often on stony or rocky slopes and in moist areas.  Ranges from Normandien Pass (across the low Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal west of Newcastle) to the mountainous NE. corner of the Free State, the mountainous parts of Lesotho, the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Drakensberg and the Witteberg and as far west as the Koudeveldberge near Graaff-Reinet and Murraysburg.


Grassland Biome.


H. albo-brunneum displays considerable variation in size of the heads; the larger heads tend to be solitary or few together, while the smaller ones are clustered in groups of about 5�15.




Helichrysum albo-brunneum S. Moore in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 35: 334 (1903); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 309 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 229 (1977).



Cape, Koudeveld Mountains near Murraysburg, 6 500 ft, Jan. 1879, Tyson 98 (BM, holo.; BOL; NH; SAM, iso.).



H. setigerum  H. Bol. in Trans. S. Afr. phil. Soc. 18: 390 (1907). Lectotype: Eastern Cape, Barkly East distr., summit Ben Macdhui and Doodman's Krans Mtn, c. 2 900�3 000 m, Galpin 6676 (BOL; NH, isolecto.).

H. setigerum var. minor H. Bol. l.c. Type: Barkly East distr., summit Doodman's Krans Mtn, 2 940 m, Galpin 6686 (PRE).



Acocks 21779 (PRE); Compton 21270 (NBG; PRE); Hilliard 5389 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Koekemoer 1610 (PRE); Wright 441 (E; K; NH; NU; S).