Common names:

Phefo (SS)

Origin of name:

flanaganii = after HG Flanagan (1861-1919) of Komga, Eastern Cape

Diagnostic characters:

Mat-forming with numerous short flowering stems
Golden-yellow bracts
Medium-sized heads
Compact round inflorescences


Profusely branched mat-forming perennial herb, main branches prostrate, rooting, soon nude, ultimate branchlets elongating at flowering, ascending, c. 40-200 mm long, greyish-white woolly, closely leafy. Leaves mostly basal, up to 8 (-20) x 4 mm, obovate or oblong-obovate, narrowed to the base and half-clasping, apex obtuse, apiculate, both surfaces glandular-punctate and closely greyish-white woolly, or rarely without wool and with stalked glands. Heads heterogamous, sub-cylindric, c. 3 x 3 mm, many felted together at the base in a congested, rounded, terminal corymbose cluster up to 18 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 4 series, graded, imbricate, inner about equaling flowers, not radiating, tawny-yellow, tipped golden-brown. Receptacle smooth or shortly honeycombed. Flowers c. 35-55, 8-15 female, 22-40 homogamous, yellow. Achenes 0.75 mm, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, delicate, tips barbellate, bases cohering lightly by patent cilia.

Flowers from October to December.


Forms thick mats over damp rock sheets, on bare earth or in short damp turf, between c. 1 650 and 3 200 m. On the high mountains of Lesotho and along the Drakensberg from Mont aux Sources (Bergville district, KwaZulu-Natal) to Naude's Neck, north of Maclear in the Eastern Cape.

Grassland Biome.



The typical form has grey-woolly leaves, but green-leaved plants are not uncommon, and the two may grow together.



Helichrysum flanaganii H. Bol. in Trans. S. Afr. phil. Soc. 18: 385 (1907); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 163 (1977).



Lectotype: Free State, summit Mont aux Sources, Flanagan 1964 (BOL; K, isolecto.)






Hilliard 5391 (E; K; MO; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 7085 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Ruch 2435 (PRE); Wright 329 (E; K; NU; S).