Origin of name:

confertus / -a / -um = crowded

Diagnostic characters:

Cream bracts
Medium sized heads


Compact well-branched dwarf shrub, rounded in outline or depressed, old branches bare, gnarled, young ones densely tufted, closely leafy. Leaves appearing rosetted when viewed from above, up to 10 (�20) x 6 (�10) mm, ovate to elliptic, narrowed to a broad, flat, clasping, petiole-like base up to c. 8 (�10) mm long, apex obtuse, upper surface greyish, lower white, woolly-felted, triplinerved, nerves not or scarcely visible. Heads homogamous, campanulate, very variable in size, mostly 5�8 mm long, 8�16 mm across the radiating bracts, larger heads solitary or few at the branchlet tips, smaller in several-headed corymbose clusters. Involucral bracts in c. 9 series, graded, imbricate, outer pale golden-brown or pinkish, bases webbed together with wool, inner much exceeding flowers, tips opaque milk-white. Receptacle honeycombed. Flowers 19�145 yellow, often tinged red. Achenes c. 1.25 mm long, elliptic, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, about equaling corolla, scabrid, tips barbellate, bases not cohering.


Flowering between July and September.


Forms compact cushions up to a meter or more across on cliff faces. Recorded on the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg from Cathedral Peak to Thamathu Pass in Underberg district, and nearby Sehlabathebe in Lesotho, and Pot River Pass north of Maclear in the E. Cape, on both basalt and Cave Sandstone, between c. 1 800 and 3 000 m.

Grassland Biome.


Plants with small heads have been recorded from many of the high Drakensberg passes from Organ Pipes to Bushman's River Pass; elsewhere, plants tend to have large heads. Small-headed specimens may be difficult to distinguish from compact specimens of H. sutherlandii.




Helichrysum confertum N.E. Br. in Kew Bull. 1895: 25 (1895); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 214 (1977).



KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg near Bushman's River, 6 000�7 000 ft, Evans 49 (K, holo.; BOL; NH, iso.).






Beverly & Hoener 718 (E; NU); Esterhuysen 17344 (BOL; NBG); Hilliard & Burtt 7449 (E; K; NU; PRE; S); Wright 186 (E; K; NH; NU).