Origin of name:

Named after the collector of the type specimen: Georg Ludwig Englehard Krebs (1792-1844), an apothecary and naturalist from Germany, who started collecting plants with Bergius after his arrival in Cape Town in 1817.

Diagnostic characters:

Upper leaf surface pubescent
Large heads
Branched inflorescence
Yellow bracts


Perennial herb up to 600 mm tall, roots narrowly fusiform, stock stout, woody, stem solitary, simple, thinly white cottony, leafy at the base becoming bracteate upwards. Radical leaves up to 200 x 50 mm, including the c. 70�100 mm petiole, blade elliptic, apex and base tapering, strongly triplinerved, petiole thin, wiry, base expanded, clasping, upper leaf surface harshly pubescent, lower thinly woolly; cauline leaves crowded, soon linear-lanceolate, acuminate, base broad, clasping, margins strongly revolute, harshly pubescent above, white-cobwebby below. Heads homogamous, subglobose, c. 5 x 5 mm, many in a spreading flat-topped corymbose panicle. Involucral bracts in 5�6 series, graded, loosely imbricate, convex, tips rounded, usually opaque creamy white, sometimes pale yellow, equaling the flowers, not radiating. Receptacle with fimbrils at least equaling the ovaries. Flowers 19�29. Achenes 0.75 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, about equaling the corolla, scabrid, bases lightly fused, also cohering by patent cilia.

Flowering mainly between October and February.


Ranges from the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal and Zululand south to the Amatola Mountains and Katberg in the Eastern Cape, in grassland from near sea level to c. 2 000 m.

Grassland, Savanna and Thicket Biomes.


Easily recognized by its globose heads with smooth convex involucral bracts.




Helichrysum krebsianum Less., Syn. Comp. 308 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 204 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 241 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 267 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 179 (1977).



Cape, Krebs 154 (B�; fragment S).



Gnaphalium krebsianum (Less.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 172 (1845).

Helichrysum crassinerve DC., Prodr. 6: 199 (1838). G. crassinerve (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 171 (1845). Type: Kaffraria, Katberg, Ecklon 1891 (G-DC, holo.).



Beverly & Hoener 683 (NU); Hilliard 4678 (E; NH; NU); Schlechter 6527 (K); Tyson 741 (BOL; K; PRE); Wright 370 (E; NH; NU).