Origin of name:

fruticans = shrubby

Diagnostic characters:

Large, bi-coloured leaves covered by hairs
Large heads in open branched inflorescence
White bracts


Stem robust, c. 1 m tall, nude below, densely leafy above, simple or subsimple, flowering stem white-woolly, closely leafy becoming pedunculoid below the heads. Leaves up to 60 (�100) x 30 mm, diminishing in size upwards and becoming distant, elliptic to oblong-elliptic, apex obtuse to subacute, mucronate, base broad, half-clasping, upper surface thinly white-woolly, lower densely so, 3-nerved. Heads homogamous or occasionally heterogamous, campanulate, c. 11 x 20 mm across the radiating bracts, many in a compact corymbose panicle up to 110 mm across. Involucral bracts in c. 10 series, graded, loosely imbricate, inner much exceeding flowers, radiating, acute to subobtuse, dull, snow-white. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 50�78, occasionally 1 female. Achenes 1.5 mm long, barrel-shaped, ribbed, with duplex hairs, not myxogenic. Pappus bristles many, tips subplumose, bases cohering strongly by patent cilia.

Flowering between September and December.


Mountain slopes. Endemic to the mountains of the Cape Peninsula.

Fynbos Biome.


Close to H. grandiflorum but distinguished by its larger heads (involucre c. 11 mm long, not 7 mm, with involucral bracts much exceeding the flowers) arranged in a spreading corymb, not in a tight cluster.




Helichrysum fruticans (L.) D. Don in Sweet, Hort. Brit. 222 (1826); Less., Syn. Comp. 288 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 175 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 225 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 310 (1910); Levyns in Adamson & Salter, Fl. Cape Penins. 782 (1950).



Cape of Good Hope (LINN 989.5).



Gnaphalium fruticans L, Mant. alt. 282 (1771); J. Sims in Curtis's Bot. Mag. t. 1802 (1816). Astelma fruticans (L.) Ker-Gawl., Bot. Reg. t. 726 (1821).



Bolus 4502 (BOL); Compton 14025 (NBG; PRE); Galpin 4140 (PRE); Rodin 3219 (BOL).