Diagnostic characters:

Long lanceolate leaves with three distinct nerves and a petiole

Compact inflorescence on long stalks

Yellow bracts


Perennial herb, stock woody, crowned with thin wiry leaf bases, roots producing thin tubers, flowering stems usually solitary, up to 650 mm tall, leafy below becoming pedunculoid upwards, thinly woolly. Leaves mostly radical, up to 600 x 20 mm, linear-lanceolate, apex acuminate, base gradually narrowed to a thin wiry petiole accounting for up to half the leaf length, margins often undulate, upper surface thinly woolly, glabrescent, then smooth and coriaceous, lower surface woolly-felted, triplinerved, tertiary veins invisible, cauline leaves similar but soon sessile, cordate-clasping, rapidly passing into distant bracts. Heads homogamous, campanulate, c. 6 x 4�6 mm, many in a compact, flat-topped corymb. Involucral bracts in c. 4 series, closely imbricate, bases woolly, tips ovate, subobtuse, outer often purplish or reddish, inner pale yellow or sometimes whitish, equaling the disc, scarcely radiating. Receptacle with fimbrils equaling the ovary. Flowers 20�30 (�43). Achenes c. 1 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, scabrid, bases cohering strongly by patent cilia.


Flowering from August to December.


Grows socially in open grassland from near sea level to c. 1 250 m.  Ranges from the Barberton mountains in Mpumalanga south through KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape to the mountains about Queenstown and Molteno and the Amatola Mountains.


Grassland and Savanna Biomes.


H. allioides is characterized by its long narrow leaves, smooth above with traces of white wool often clinging to the veins, white-felted below. The tips of the inner involucral bracts are nearly always yellow, rarely creamy white. The rare specimens with broader leaves (but retaining the characteristic indumentum) have been recorded from Hluhluwe Game Reserve and Nfabanana in Zululand, and approach H. nudifolium var. oxyphyllum both in this character and in the creamier-coloured involucral bracts. Some crossing may have taken place.



Helichrysum allioides Less., Syn. Comp. 299 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 198 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 239 (1865); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 175 (1977).



Cape, Krebs 145 (G, iso.).



Gnaphalium allioides (Less.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 172 (1845).

Helichrysum allioides var. latiusculum DC., Prodr. 6: 198 (1838). Type: Cape, Berg am Zwart Key, Dr�ge 5743 (G-DC, holo.).



Bolus 7811 (BOL); Devenish 1213 (PRE); Esterhuysen 29156 (BOL); Pegler 63 (PRE); Strey 7665 (K; NU; PRE); Tyson 1456 (BOL; SAM).