Photo: H. Heilgendorf

Photo: H. Heilgendorf

Common names:

umuthi wechanti (X), Ecklons everlasting, toane-ea-loti (SS)

Origin of name:

Named after Christian Ecklon, plant collector (1795-1868)

Diagnostic characters:

Large solitary heads
White bracts
Plants covered in white wool


Perennial herb, stock stout, woody, crowned with 1 or a few rosettes, flowering stem terminal, solitary, up to 500 m high, height depending on age and growing conditions, loosely woolly, leafy. Radical leaves up to c. 200 x 20 mm, but commonly less than 100 x 20 mm, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic-obovate, membranous, loosely woolly-cobwebby, upper surface sometimes glabrescent, then clearly 3- or 5-nerved, lower surface usually persistently woolly, margins always so; cauline leaves similar but narrower and decreasing rapidly in size upwards, uppermost often tipped with a scarious bract. Heads heterogamous, or rarely homogamous, campanulate, 25-30 mm long, nearly double that across the radiating bracts, solitary. Involucral bracts in c. 10 series, graded, loosely imbricate, much exceeding the flowers, glossy, white to deep rose pink. Receptacle shortly honeycombed. Flowers 231-407, (0-) 7-13 female, 224-403 homogamous. Achenes 1.75 mm long, barrel-shaped, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, tips barbellate, bases cohering by patent cilia, some fusion in bundles as well.


Flowering between September and December.


Grows on grassy slopes.  Ranges from the low Drakensberg on the Mpumalanga-KwaZulu-Natal border and the NE. corner of the Free State through Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal (sea level to c. 2750 m) to the Transkei and the King William's Town, Amatola Mountains and Katberg area of the E. Cape.

Grassland and Savanna Biomes.



Very easily confused with H. vernum.

Natural hybrids are suspected between H. ecklonis and H. argentissimum.



Helichrysum ecklonis Sond. in F.C. 3: 254 (1865).



Cape, Tambuki-land, an der rechten Seite des Key-rivier, 3000�4000 Fuss, Nov., Ecklon 1410 (S, holo.; B; G-DC; E, prob. iso.).



H.calocephalum Schltr. in Bot. Jb. 40: 95 (1908), non Klatt (1896); Wood, Natal Plants 6,4: t. 589 (1912); Batten & Bokelmann, Wild Flow. E. Cape Prov. 149 plate 119,2 (1966). H. lamprocephalum H. Bol. in Trans. R. Soc. S Afr 1: 163 (1909); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 235 (1977). H. scapiforme Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 334 (1910). Type: KwaZulu-Natal, Umzinto distr., Dumisa, Moyeni, not far from Fairfield, c. 700 m, Rudatis 437 (errore 1317, BM; E; G; K; M; S; Z, iso.).



Devenish 1564 (NU); Hilliard & Burtt 7320 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Wright 1008 (E; K; NU; S).