Origin of name:

confertifolium = closely set leaves (confertus / -a / -um = crowded; folium = leaves)

Diagnostic characters:

Large solitary heads
Golden-brown bracts


Mat-forming perennial herb with prostrate rooting branches radiating from a stout woody stock and giving rise to innumerable crowded leaf rosettes, flowering stems terminal, 50�400 mm tall, leafy. Radical leaves 10�40 (�70) x 2�3 (�5) mm, linear-lanceolate, acute, apiculate, base broad, clasping, margins weakly revolute, both surfaces silvery white-felted, lower paler than upper which is sometimes merely cobwebby, prominently 3�5-nerved; cauline leaves similar but often shorter, closely imbricate. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, 12�15 mm long, c. 25 mm across the fully radiating bracts, mostly solitary, occasionally 2 or 3 corymbosely arranged. Involucral bracts in c. 8 series, graded, loosely imbricate, inner much exceeding flowers, glossy white, very pale to dark chestnut brown or reddish brown outside in upper half. Receptacle shortly honeycombed. Flowers 153�443, 15�28 female, 138�424 homogamous. Achenes 1.5 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, barbellate above, bases not cohering.


Flowering between December and July, mainly in February and March.


Favours short rocky grassland, rock sheets and other bare areas. Ranges from the Duiwelskloof-Woodbush area, Limpopo, south along the mountains to the highlands of Mpumalanga, the low Drakensberg along the Mpumalanga-Free State-KwaZulu-Natal borders, the highlands of northern KwaZulu-Natal and Zululand, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and Drakensberg as far south as Mount Insizwa in Transkei, descending to 600 m in KwaZulu-Natal.

Grassland and Savanna Biome.


Plants growing over Table Mountain Sandstone in KwaZulu-Natal tend to produce tall flowering stems with pale heads, but similar plants turn up sporadically elsewhere (e.g. Platberg near Harrismith, and Billy's Vlei near Carolina), just as richly coloured heads are also sometimes found over T. M. S. (e.g. at Dumisa, southern KwaZulu-Natal).




Helichrysum confertifolium Klatt in Bull. Herbarium Boissier 4: 835 (1896); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 333 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 228 (1977).



Lectotype: Transkei, Insizwa Mtn, 2 072 m, Schlechter 6476 (G, holo.; BOL; K; PRE; Z, iso.).






Codd 9582 (PRE); Hilliard 2666 (E; K; M; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 6544 (E; K; MO; NU; PRE; S); Tyson 1256 (PRE).