Origin of name:

deserticola = dweller in deserts

Diagnostic characters:

Compact herb
Small woolly leaves
Small heads
Bracts straw-coloured


Probably perennial, taproot becoming thick (4 mm diam.) and woody, stems many, densely tufted from the crown, c. 20-60 mm long, simple or subsimple, grey-woolly, leafy. Leaves mostly 4-10 x 1-4 mm, elliptic-spathulate, apex subacute, sometimes folded lengthwise and recurved, base narrowed, half-clasping, margins somewhat undulate, both surfaces thickly white-woolly. Heads heterogamous or rarely homogamous, c. 3.5-4 x 2-2.5 mm, campanulate, few to many crowded in terminal glomerules 5-10 mm across, surrounded by leaves webbed to the outer involucral bracts. Involucral bracts in 3-4 series, subequal, equaling flowers, not radiating, tips of outer obtuse, inner abruptly acute and apiculate, opaque, white, outer at least tinged golden-brown. Receptacle very shortly honeycombed. Flowers 14-38, (0-) 1-3 female, 14-36 homogamous, yellow, tipped pink. Achenes 0.75 mm, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, tips scabrid, bases nude, not cohering.

Flowering between July and October.


Grows on sandy or rocky flats.  Recorded only from southernmost Namibia (Kaukausib, Rote Kuppe, Garub).

Desert Biome.


Rarely collected.

Closely allied to H. obtusum but distinguished by the opaque white tips to the involucral bracts, the innermost of which are abruptly contracted into a sharp apiculus.




Helichrysum deserticola Hilliard in Flora of southern Africa 33,7 (2): 168 (1983).



Namibia, Gubub [Garub?], sandflats, 18 x 1922, Dinter 4115 (SAM, holo.; BM; G; Z, iso.).






Dinter 3814 (BOL; PRE); Range 1130 (SAM).