Origin of name:

hypoleucus /-a/-um = white below

Diagnostic characters:

Heart-shaped leaves
Leaves bicoloured
Leaf petiole winged
Bracts yellow
Compact inflorescence


Soft-wooded half-shrub, erect or scandent, climbing to c. 2 m, branches white-felted, leafy. Leaves on narrowly winged petioles up to 25 mm long, base clasping, auriculate, blade up to 80 x 50 mm, cordate-ovate, apex acute to acuminate, upper surface thinly cobwebby at first, soon merely minutely glandular-pubescent, lower white-felted, digitately nerved. Heads heterogamous, campanulate, c. 2 x 2 mm, many in very congested corymbose clusters, these arranged in large spreading corymbose panicles. Involucral bracts in 4 series, graded, imbricate, outer woolly, inner about equaling flowers, glossy, silvery translucent, obtuse, minutely radiating. Receptacle honeycombed. Flowers 8�13, 1�4 female, 7�11 homogamous, bright yellow. Achenes c. 0.5 mm long, barrel-shaped, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, slightly shorter than corolla, scabrid, bases lightly cohering by patent cilia.

Flowers between February and April.


Grows in tangled clumps on forest margins or on steep grassy mountain slopes, roughly 1200-1800 m. Recorded from the low Drakensberg on the Mpumalanga-KwaZulu-Natal-Free State border, the mountains of N. KwaZulu-Natal and the Biggarsberg, Qudeni and Nkandla in Zululand, the mountainous NE. part of the Free State, and the main Drakensberg and its outliers as far south as Giant's Castle and Kamberg.

Grassland and Savanna Biomes.



Helichrysum hypoleucum Harv. in F.C. 3: 253 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 290 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 216 (1977).



Lectotype: Natal, Umgate [Enyati?] and Ingoma [Ngome?], Gerrard & M�Ken 1005 (TCD; BM; K, isolecto.).



Gnaphalium subcordatum 6. Kuntze, Rev. Gen. Pl. 3,2: 154 (1898). Type as above.



Acocks 11433 (PRE); Hilliard 4927 (E; K; NH; NU; S); Wright 462 (E; K; M; NH; NU).