Origin of name:

glaciale = frozen; refers to the pretty 'ice-cream'colouring of the flower heads.

Diagnostic characters:

Large solitary heads
Woody shrublet
White bracts


Well-branched rounded dwarf shrublet up to 200 mm high and 300 mm across, main stem very short, gnarled, woody, up to 5 mm diam., branches slender (c. 1 mm diam.), nude below and rooting, closely leafy above. Leaves closely imbricate, visible part suborbicular, c. 5 x 5 mm, thick, greyish-white woolly, base oblong, slightly shorter and narrower than blade, membranous, nearly glabrous, stem-clasping. Heads homogamous, campanulate, 10�13 mm long, c. 20 mm across the fully radiating bracts, solitary on terminal leafy peduncles, these leaves spathulate to elliptic, the uppermost sometimes with a scarious appendage. Involucral bracts in c. 11 series, descending on the peduncle, graded, loosely imbricate, outer palest brown, inner exceeding the flowers, obtuse, opaque, white, all tinged crimson at the base, giving a rosy cast to the whole head. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 45�81, yellow. Achenes 1.25 mm long, with long (up to 0.5 mm) duplex hairs. Pappus bristles c. 12�14, about equaling corolla, tips shortly plumose, bases not cohering.

Flowering between November and January.


Grows mainly from cracks and ledges on the faces of basalt and dolerite cliffs. Recorded only from the high Drakensberg, at Naude's Nek north of Maclear in the Cape, nearby Satsanna's Peak in Lesotho, Sehlabathebe (Devil's Knuckles), Sani Pass and Mashai Pass in Natal, and Mota's Pass in Butha Buthe district of Lesotho, between 2 500 and 2 900 m. 

Grassland Biome.


Very floriferous and pretty.




Helichrysum glaciale Hilliard in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 32: 348 (1973), Compositae in Natal 225 (1977).



Cape, Maclear-Barkly East district boundary, Naude's Nek, c. 2 500 m, 27 xi 1971, Hilliard 5186 (NU, holo.; BOL; E; GRA; K; M; MO; NBG; NH; NU; PRE; S, iso.).






Hilliard 5417 (E; K; M; MO; NU; PRE; S); Jacot Guillarmod 2003 (PRE); Nordenstam 2053 (S).