Mat-forming perennial herb, main stems stoloniferous, rooting and branching freely, producing numerous leaf rosettes, flowering stems decumbent then erect, 300-400 mm long, simple, silvery sericeous, appressed-leafy. Radical leaves rosetted, mostly 40-100 x 3-10 mm, linear-lanceolate, apex obtuse or subacute, base broad, clasping, upper surface with thin 'tissue-paper' indumentum, lower white silky-felted; cauline leaves much reduced, c. 10-30 x 1.5-3 mm, degenerating upwards into bracts, linear or linear-lanceolate, acute to acuminate, enveloped in silky indumentum webbed to the stem, only leaf tips free. Heads homogamous, c. 5 x 2 mm, many lightly webbed together in a very congested, terminal, cymose cluster c. 15-25 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 3 series, loosely imbricate, outer shorter, pellucid, tips light brown, inner subequal, equaling flowers, tips very obtuse, canary-yellow, not radiating. Receptacle shortly honeycombed. Flowers 7-10. Achenes 1 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, shortly plumose in upper half, bases nude, not cohering.
Flowering in May.
Forms large mats on damp earth banks and tussocks at the marshy sources of streams. Recorded from Mpumalanga and Fort Nottingham Commonage in KwaZulu-Natal and the top of Mt Insizwa, Mt Ayliff district, Transkei.
Grassland and Savanna Biomes.
Helichrysum ephelos Hilliard in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 40: 254 (1982).
KwaZulu-Natal, Lion's River distr., Fort Nottingham Commonage, c. 1675 m, 4 v 1977, Hilliard & Burtt 10329 (NU, holo.; E; K; MO; PRE; S, iso.).
Hilliard & Burtt 7307 (E; NU); Hilliard & Burtt 18366 (PRE).