Photo: J. Burrows

Origin of name:

Named after Denzil Edwards (b. 1929), ecologist in the Botanical Survey section of the Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria from 1960-1984.

Diagnostic characters:

Yellow bracts with brown outer bracts
Large solitary heads
Hairy leaf margins


Subshrub up to 1 m tall, stock with woolly vegetative buds or leaf tufts, stems several to many from the base, stout, woody, simple or sparingly branched below the inflorescence branches, glandular-setose, often thinly white woolly-cobwebby as well, densely leafy. Radical leaves (seen in one specimen only) rosulate, oblong, acute, c. 50�55 x 8�15 mm, thinly greyish-white woolly on both surfaces; cauline leaves mostly 40�75 (�100) x 18�28 (�40) mm, smaller on the inflorescence branches, oblong or ovate, acute, mucronate, base broad, cordate-clasping, both surfaces glandular-setose, lower leaves at least initially greyish-white woolly on both surfaces as well, upper surface usually glabrescent, but upper leaves, particularly those on the inflorescence branches, often without wool or with wool confined to the margins and midline. Heads heterogamous, depressed-globose, c. 14�17 mm long, 28�36 mm across the radiating bracts, several corymbosely arranged, the inflorescence branches simple or subsimple, closely leafy up to the heads. Involucral bracts in c. 9 series, graded, imbricate, inner much exceeding the flowers, glossy, pale yellow inside, light golden-brown outside. Receptacle shortly honeycombed. Flowers c. 830�2350, 100�165 female, 700�2200 homogamous. Achenes c. 1 mm long, barrel-shaped, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, about equaling corolla, tips barbellate, shaft scabrid, bases with patent cilia, cohering lightly or not.


Flowering mainly in March and April.


Grows in shrub communities among rock outcrops or on mountain slopes, often near the margins of forest or forest relicts.  Recorded from Inyanga in Zimbabwe, the eastern part of the Soutpansberg and the mountains in Limpopo, about Sibasa, Haenertsburg, Potgietersrus, the Wolkberg and The Downs.

Grassland and Savanna Biomes


H. edwardsii can be recognized by its large yellow and brown heads and green leaves on the inflorescence branches and upper parts of the stems contrasting with the woolly or partially woolly lower leaves. In this it resembles H. milleri, which differs in its pappus and flowering time.

In the herbarium it is almost impossible to distinguish H. edwardsii from H. setosum when only the inflorescence and upper part of the stem is present and field notes are wanting.




Helichrysum edwardsii Wild in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 40: 254 (1982).



Zimbabwe, Inyanga, World's View, 6 500 ft, 9 iv 1966, Edwards 950 (SRGH, holo.).






Crundall in PRE 36894 (PRE); Hemm 584 (PRE); Hilliard & Burtt 14318 (E; K; NU; PRE); Rogers 20118 (NH).