Origin of name:
dasy- = thickly hairy, shaggy
cephalum = head
Small plants prostrate
Very small heads
Grey narrow leaves, sharp-tipped, margins undulating
Woolly involucral bracts
Twiggy dwarf shrub up to 300 mm tall, old stems woody, up to 8 mm diam., main branches prostrate or decumbent, ultimate branches stiffly erect, densely leafy, they and the leaves enveloped in peculiar silvery grey felt with a 'tissue-paper' surface. Leaves rigid, up to 20 x 5 mm, narrowly to broadly spathulate, becoming smaller and oblong-spathulate or oblong upwards, apex obtuse to subacute, mucronate, hooked, base half-clasping. Heads heterogamous, cylindric, c. 4 x 1 mm, many in tight clusters usually webbed together with woolly hairs, arranged in compact corymbose panicles up to 20 mm across at the branch tips. Involucral bracts in c. 3 series, closely imbricate, about equaling flowers, not radiating, pellucid, silvery, the tips sometimes washed palest brown or palest yellow, woolly hairs webbing the bracts in a thin skin. Receptacle smooth. Flowers 4�5 (�6), 1�3 female, 3�4 homogamous, bright yellow. Achenes not seen, ovaries glabrous. Pappus bristles few (up to 8), scabridulous, shorter than corolla, bases with patent cilia, not cohering.
Flowering between February and April.
Forms stiff twiggy mats and cushions on rock sheets and hard bare earth. Recorded from the mountainous eastern part of the Free State, the Witteberg near Lady Grey, Lesotho, Transkei and Eastern Cape and south to the mountains around Queenstown, Cathcart and Keiskammahoek. Never re-collected on Van Reenen's Pass, KwaZulu-Natal (the type locality), but occurs on the edge of the escarpment below The Sentinel, SW. of Van Reenen.
Helichrysum dasycephalum O.Hoffm. in Annln naturh. Mus. Wien 24: 299 (1910); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 251 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 165 (1977).
KwaZulu-Natal, Van Reenen's Pass, Krook, no. 1437 in herbarium Penther (W, holo.; BM; BOL; M; NH; S, iso.).
Hilliard & Burtt 6667 (E; K; MO; NU; PRE; S); Pegler 1619 (BM; BOL; PRE); Story 3339 (PRE).