Common names:

Motoantoanyane (SS), pulomo-tseou (SS)

Origin of name:

callicoma / -um = Greek kalli- = beautiful, kome = hair; probably referring to the numerous flowering branches and golden inflorescences looking like a beautiful hairdo

Diagnostic characters:

Bracts yellow

Heads small and in large terminal clusters

Leaves grey-green, hairy

Leaves spathulate

Capitula in terminal branched clusters


Tufted perennial herb or shrub up to 400 mm high, stems woody at base, mostly branching there, then above into the compound inflorescence, closely greyish-white felted, densely leafy. Leaves up to 25 x 6 mm, smaller and more distant upwards, passing into inflorescence bracts, spathulate, oblong-spathulate and spreading, oblong upwards and appressed, apex obtuse, upper leaves sometimes acute, base half-clasping, midrib distinct, both surfaces closely greyish-felted. Heads heterogamous, cylindric, c. 45 x 1 mm, very many closely aggregated in corymbose panicles up to 60�80 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 4 series, graded, closely imbricate, inner about equaling flowers, not radiating, tips acuminate, glossy, pellucid, pale straw-coloured. Receptacle smooth. Flowers 4�6, 1�3 female, 2�3 homogamous, yellow. Achenes 0.75 mm, glabrousPappus bristles several, delicate, scabrid, bases with patent cilia, not cohering.


Flowers from March to May.


Often forms large stands in overgrazed grassland. Widespread and fairly common. Ranges from the E. highlands of Zimbabwe to the Gauteng and Mpumalanga highlands, E. Free State and neighbouring Lesotho, Midlands and Uplands of KwaZulu-Natal, Transkei in the foothills of the Drakensberg, the Cape Drakensberg, and from Queenstown and Dohne south to Grahamstown.


Grassland and Savanna Biomes.



Inflorescences similar to those of H. kraussii, but clearly distinguished on leaf characters.



Helichrysum callicomum Harv. in F.C. 3: 247 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 251 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 165 (1977).



Lectotype: [Lesotho], Basutoland, Cooper 730 (TCD; BM; E; G; K; PRE; W; Z, isolecto.).






Acocks 24188 (PRE); Hilliard 4973 (E; K; NH; NU); Wilms 741 (E; NU); Wright 476 (E; K; M; NH; NU); Germishuizen 832 & 844 (PRE).