Large, solitary headsBright yellow bractsLeaves hairy, margins woolly
Biennial herb, aromatic when fresh, flowering stems up to c. 800 mm tall, simple below the inflorescence branches or sparingly forked at the base, glandular pubescent, thinly white-woolly as well mainly towards the tips of the inflorescence branches. Radical leaves rosetted in the first year of growth, persisting, dried and matted together, at the stem base in the second season, up to 100 x 35 mm, elliptic, narrowed in the lower third to a broad clasping base, apex obtuse to subacute, mucronate, both surfaces with long and short gland-tipped hairs, thinly greyish-white woolly as well; cauline leaves up to 90 x 25 mm, diminishing in size upwards, elliptic to lanceolate upwards, apex obtuse to acute to acuminate, base cordate-clasping, margins glandular-setose and white-woolly, both surfaces glandular-setose, only the lowermost derived from the basal rosette woolly as well. Heads heterogamous, depressed-globose, mostly 30�40 mm across the radiating bracts, 2�12 corymbosely arranged on leafy peduncles up to c. 120 mm long. Involucral bracts in c. 9 series, graded, imbricate, much exceeding flowers, radiating, glossy, inner bright yellow, outer overlaid pale golden-brown, rarely with a pink overcast. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 786�1909, 71�261 female, 646�1648 homogamous, yellow. Achenes 1 mm long, barrel-shaped, obscurely ribbed, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, tips subplumose, bases with patent cilia, cohering lightly.
Flowers between January and April.
Grows socially in tall rough grassland on steep slopes and in boulder-strewn gullies and valleys between c. 2 280 and 2 850 m above sea level. Recorded only from the high Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, from Royal Natal National Park to Garden Castle Forest Reserve.
Easily recognized by its grey-woolly basal leaves contrasting with green, glandular stem leaves, and large heads with golden involucral bracts often washed light brown outside.
Helichrysum heterolasium Hilliard in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 34: 81 (1975), Compositae in Natal 242 (1977).
KwaZulu-Natal, Giant's Castle Game Reserve, Langalibalele Pass, c. 2 680 m, Wright 1247 (NU, holo.; E; K; PRE; S, iso.).
Hilliard 8142 (E; K; NU); Hilliard 5333 (E; K; NU; PRE; S); Wright 1146 (E; MO; NU).