Origin of name:

drakensbergense = from the Drakensberg

Diagnostic characters:

Compact inflorescence on long stalks
Light yellow bracts
Plant covered in white wool
Large heads


Bushy perennial herb or subshrub up to c.400 mm tall, stems often decumbent at base and rooting, simple below, forking several times above, grey-woolly, branches erect, leafy in lower half becoming pedunculoid upwards. Leaves up to 90 x 30 mm, more or less spathulate, apex rounded or subacute, petiole-like base expanded below and half-clasping, both surfaces closely grey-woolly. Heads homogamous, campanulate, c. 6 x 4 mm, many felted together at the base in a very congested, flattish corymbose cluster 20�25 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 3 series, loosely imbricate, about equaling flowers, not radiating, glossy, straw-coloured. Receptacle with pit margins thickened. Flowers c. 15�28, yellow. Achenes 1.5 mm long, with duplex hairs. Pappus bristles copious, delicate, scabrid above, bases lightly cohering by patent cilia.


Flowers from November to January.


It forms large but often highly localized colonies on grass slopes or in scrub, between c. 1 525 and 2 740 m above sea level. Known only from a small area of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, from Garden Castle Forest Reserve and Sani Pass, in Underberg district, north to Cleft Peak in Bergville district.

Grassland Biome.



Helichrysum drakensbergense Killick in Bothalia 7: 23 (1958); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 162 (1977).



KwaZulu-Natal, Bergville distr., Cathedral Peak Forest Research Station, below Organ Pipes Pass, Killick 1879 (PRE, holo.; K, iso.).






Hilliard 4826 (E; K; NH; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 7045 (E; K; NU; S); Schelpe 497 (NU); Wright 432 (E; K; NH; NU).