Origin of name:

anomalus = diverging from the usual, abnormal

Diagnostic characters:

Small linear grey leaves

Medium sized heads in small compact to open inflorescences

Yellow bracts with tips spreading


Bushy dwarf shrublet up to 300 mm tall and as much across, branches closely grey-woolly, densely leafy. Leaves 3�14 x 1�3 mm, diminishing in size upwards, much reduced and distant below the flowering heads, linear, lanceolate or oblong, apex acute or obtuse, mucronate, sometimes recurved, base broad, half-clasping, margins revolute, both surfaces closely grey-woolly. Heads heterogamous, cylindric-campanulate, c. 4 x 2,5 mm, few to many in dense cymose clusters terminating the branches. Involucral bracts in c. 6 series, graded, closely imbricate, very obtuse, outer pale brown, pellucid, inner about equaling flowers, tips opaque or pellucid, bright canary yellow, minutely radiating. Receptacle with fimbrils 2 to 3 times as long as the ovaries. Flowers 17�50, 4�12 female, 13�40 homogamous. Achenes c. 0,75 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles very few, about equaling the ovary in length.


Flowering between September and May.


Grows gregariously and with other dwarf shrubs on bare, often rocky, areas, or in rough grassland. Recorded from the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, then a disjunction to Swartberg Pass and Robinson Pass, thence eastwards across the mountains and through the coastal districts to Grahamstown, King William's Town and Haga-Haga near East London, and north and east across the mountains to the Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg area, to the Witteberg, and the Drakensberg from about Barkly Pass to Qacha's Nek and Sehlabathebe in Lesotho.


Fynbos, Succulent Karoo, Grassland, Thicket and Savanna biomes.


Very variable in leaf size and to some degree in indumentum; distinctive by virtue of its extraordinarily long fimbrils and reduced pappus.




Helichrysum anomalum Less., Syn. Comp. 303 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 204 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 249 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 255 (1910); Levyns in Adamson & Salter, Fl. Cape Penins. 784 (1950); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 167 (1977).



Cape, Mund & Maire (B�).



Manopappus anomalus (Less.) Sch. Bip. in Flora, Regensburg 27: 677 (1844). H. anomalum var. turbinatum Harv. in F.C. 3: 249 (1865). Gnaphalium anomalum  (Less.) O. Kuntze, Rev. Gen. 3,2: 150 (1898).

Tanacetum gnaphaloidesSteud. in Flora, Regensburg 13: 542 (1830), nomen.

Helichrysum anomalumvar. rufescens DC., Prodr. 6: 204 (1838). Type: Uitenhage div., Zwartkops River, Ecklon 1577 (G-DC, holo.; SAM, iso.).

H. anomalum var. brevifolium DC., 1. c. Type: Uitenhage div., Eland River, Ecklon 1868 (G-DC, holo.; SAM, iso.).

H. anomalum var. ovatum Harv., 1. c. Type: nothing cited, nothing annotated in TCD.



Acocks 17650 (PRE); Compton 10753 (NBG); Esterhuysen 13651 (PRE); Hilliard & Burtt 6659 (E; K; MO; NU; S).