Common names:

Wild everlasting, Poprosie (A)

Origin of name:

argyros = silvery

sphaera = a sphere

Diagnostic characters:

Solitary heads

Pink papery bracts


Herb, possibly annual, taproot woody, branches up to 300 mm long, many, radiating, prostrate or decumbent, sub-simple to profusely branched, thinly woolly, leafy throughout. Leaves up to 25 x 7 mm, scarcely smaller upwards, spathulate to oblanceolate, subacute, mucronate, narrowed to a flat petiole-like base, both surfaces thinly grey-woolly. Heads heterogamous, subglobose, c. 7�10 x 7�10 mm, solitary at the tips of the branchlets, surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in c. 9 series, graded, imbricate, inner about equaling flowers, pellucid, shining, silvery becoming increasingly pink-tinged inwards, fading again at maturity, tips mostly obtuse, radiating. Receptacle very shortly honeycombed. Flowers 166�290, 19�36 female, 142�258 homogamous, yellow, tipped pink. Achenes 0,75 mm long, elliptic, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases cohering lightly by patent cilia.


Flowers between June and December.


Grows in hot, dry, sandy places, and readily becomes a weed. Widely distributed from Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Limpopo, Gauteng, North-West Province, Northern Cape, Free State, the KwaZulu-Natal coastal plain and Tugela basin, with a single record from Komgha in the Eastern Cape. 


Grassland, Savanna, Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo Biomes.



There are several records of its being regarded as excellent forage for both wild and domestic animals, but blindness and encephalopathy in sheep and cattle result from ingestion of large quantities (Onderstepoort J. Vet. Sci. 42,4: 135�148, 1975).



Helichrysum argyrosphaerum DC.,6: 174 (1838); Harv. in F. C. 3: 222 (1865); Oliv. & Hiern in F. T. A. 3: 351 (1877); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 302 (1910); Merxm., F.S.W.A. 139: 92 (1967); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 211 (1977).



Lectotype: Northern Cape, Prieska distr., near Orange River, 'between Gariep Station and shallow ford', Burchell 1645 (G-DC; K; PRE, isolecto.).



Gnaphalium argyrosphaerum (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 170 (1845).



Acocks 20983 (PRE); Gerstner 6196 (NBG; PRE); Merxm�ller & Giess 3590 (PRE; WIND); Pooley 655 (E; NH; NU).