Diagnostic characters:

Large solitary heads in branched inflorescences
Herbaceous plant


Rhizomatous, strongly aromatic perennial herb, rhizome slender, woody, flowering stem up to 1 m tall, simple below the inflorescence branches, glandular-pubescent, leafy throughout. Radical leaves rosetted, withered at flowering, up to 350 x 55 mm, oblanceolate, apex subacute or obtuse, narrowed to a broad, flat, clasping petiole-like base, both surfaces thinly grey-woolly; cauline leaves up to c. 120 x 30 mm, decreasing in size upwards, elliptic-lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate, base broad, cordate-clasping, very shortly decurrent, both surfaces minutely glandular-pubescent. Heads heterogamous, depressed-globose, c. 7�8 mm long, c. 15�18 mm across the radiating bracts, many in a large spreading leafy corymbose panicle. Involucral bracts in 6 series, graded, imbricate, exceeding flowers, radiating, glossy light brown, very acute. Receptacle honeycombed. Flowers 423�731, 26�97 female, 378�634 homogamous, orange-yellow. Achenes 0.75 mm long, barrel-shaped, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabridulous, bases with patent cilia, lightly cohering or not.

Flowering between October and January, but mainly in November and December.


Grows along streams, between c. 1 400 and 2 100 m above sea level, often in the shallows, rooted in mud. Ranges along the Drakensberg and its outliers from Van Reenen's Pass in KwaZulu-Natal to Insikeni Mountain in Umzimkulu district, Transkei, and Ngeli Mountain on the KwaZulu-Natal-Transkei border. Also recorded from near Ficksburg in the NE. Free State.

Grassland Biome.


The tuft of grey-woolly radical leaves is produced in the first season, the terminal flowering stem with glandular but not woolly leaves the following year, together with several woody runners each terminating in a new leaf rosette. The small heads with brown pointed bracts allied to the markedly discolorous radical and cauline leaves make this a very distinctive species.



Helichrysum fulvum N.E. Br. in Kew Bull. 1895: 146 (1895); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 338 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 242 (1977).



Lectotype: KwaZulu-Natal, Drakensberg, edge of brook near Van Reenen's Pass, 5 000�6 000 ft, Wood 4533 (K; NH; Z, isolecto.).






Hilliard 2491 (NU); Hilliard & Burtt 3429 (E; NU); Trauseld 863 (NU; PRE); Wright 321 (E; K; M; NBG; NU; PRE).