Origin of name:

gariepinum refers to the area where the type specimen was collected

Diagnostic characters:

Small compact flower heads
Leaf rosettes below heads
White bracts
Plants woolly


Herbaceous, taproot woody stems several to many from the crown, 200�300 mm long, prostrate or decumbent, simple or branched, wiry, white cobwebby-woolly, often glabrescent, leafy. Leaves c. 7�20 x 3�12 mm, scarcely diminishing upwards, thin, spathulate or obovate to elliptic, much narrowed to the base, subpetiolate, apex obtuse, apiculate, both surfaces white cobwebby-woolly, often glabrescent. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, mostly c. 6�7 x 5�6 mm, c. 10 mm across the radiating bracts, solitary or up to 8 clustered at the branch tips, shortly pedunculate, closely surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in c. 3�5 series, surrounded by green lanceolate bracts webbed together with wool, sub-equal, loosely imbricate, exceeding the flowers, pellucid, silvery, tips radiating, subopaque, obtuse to acute, mostly white, outermost sometimes tinged pale golden-brown, inner sometimes rosy to crimson, fading to white. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 40�99, (1�) 3�8 female, 36�91 homogamous, yellow, tipped pink. Achenes 0.75 mm with myxogenic duplex hairs or sometimes glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases cohering lightly by patent cilia.


Flowers between May and October, mainly August and September.


In sandy, gravelly or stony places. Found in the arid parts of the N. Cape from the environs of the Orange River east to Vryburg and Prieska, and north to L�deritz, Aus, Keetmanshoop and Aroab in Namibia.

Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo Biomes.


Can be confused with H. roseo-niveum, H. marlothianum and H. herniarioides; see under those species to distinguish.

Recorded as 'used by sparrows to line nests'!




Helichrysum gariepinum DC., Prodr. 6: 174 (1838); Harv. in F. C. 3: 223 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 304 (1910); Merxm., F.S.W.A. 139: 94 (1967).



Lectotype: Cape, rocky places near the Gariep [Orange], Dr�ge 2841 (G-DC; BM; PRE, isolecto.).



Gnaphalium gariepinum(DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 169 (1845).



Giess 9445 (M; PRE; WIND); Merxm�ller & Giess 3364 (PRE; WIND); Schlieben 11573 (K; PRE); Wisura 2243 (NBG).