Origin of name:

citrinus /-a/-um = lemon yellow coloured

cephalum = head

Diagnostic characters:

Large solitary heads
Lemon-yellow bracts
Densely leafy


Shrub up to 1 m tall and as much across, main branches bare, rough with persistent leaf bases, flowering shoots grey-felted, glandular, very closely leafy. Leaves mostly 30�50 x 7�18 mm, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, uppermost lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate, apiculate, base narrowed, rounded, sessile, both surfaces silvery-grey felted, glandular as well. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, c. 15 mm long, 25 mm across the radiating bracts, 4�20 solitary at the tips of long (50�120 mm) leafy peduncles corymbosely arranged. Involucral bracts in 6�12 series, graded, lanceolate, acute to very acute, much exceeding flowers, glossy, pale lemon-yellow. Receptacle honeycombed. Flowers 465�484, 16�19 female, 446�468 homogamous, yellow. Ovary 0.75 mm long, glabrous. Achenes not seen. Pappus bristles many, about equaling the corolla, tips barbellate, shaft smooth, bases not cohering.

Flowering in February.


Grows in coarse herbage, probably on forest margins. Ixopo area in KwaZulu-Natal.

Grassland Biome.


Easily recognized by its shrubby habit, grey leaves and lemon-yellow heads, more like the tropical species H. petersii Oliv. & Hiern than any S. African species.

Known only from the type collection and one made by Krook in the same area nearly a hundred years ago. The only known locality at Ixopo has been destroyed by road-widening.




Helichrysum citricephalum Hilliard & Burtt in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 34: 259 (1976); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 249 (1977).



KwaZulu-Natal, Ixopo distr., Ixopo to Umzimkulu road, straggling shrub in forest margin type vegetation on steep bank at roadside, 26 ii 75, Hilliard & Burtt 8045 (NU, holo.; E; K; MO; PRE; S, iso.).






Krook in herbarium Penther 995 (BM; M).