Origin of name:
krookii = from the collector of the type, P. Krook who collected plants for A Penther around 1895.
With thick fleshy rootsFew very large leaves, not hairy, with more than 5 distinct main veinsCompact flower heads on long stalks, fused and cobwebby below
A tuberous-rooted rhizomatous perennial herb, 0.15-0.25 m tall, flowering stem solitary, simple, erect, glandular, thinly cobwebby. Leaves mostly radical, more or less rosetted, up to 100 x 50 mm, elliptic, apex subacute, abruptly narrowed to a broad, clasping, petiole-like base up to 30 x 6 mm, both surfaces glandular-pubescent, stem leaves smaller, narrower, sessile, passing rapidly upwards into distant bracts. Heads homogamous, c. 3-4 x 2-3 mm, very many felted together to form very compact corymbose clusters, these further felted together into a flattish disc 20-70 mm across. Involucral bracts in 2-3 series, loosely imbricate, about equaling flowers, not radiating, bright canary-yellow. Receptacle with paleae, equaling the corolla, subtending up to half the flowers. Flowers 7-18, yellow, sometimes tinged red, with multicellular glands on outer lobes. Achenes 1.25 mm, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles few, slightly shorter than corolla, tips barbellate, bases free.
Flowering in January and February.
Forms small colonies in grassland, particularly near streams or on steep moist slopes. Along the low Drakensberg on the KwaZulu-Natal-Mpumalanga border, thence south along the Drakensberg and its outliers (Bamboo and Mawahqua Mountains) to Ngeli Mountain (KwaZulu-Natal-Transkei border), the mountains near Kokstad and neighbouring Transkei, and the Drakensberg on the Lesotho-Transkei-Cape border, thence south-west as far as the Barkly Pass area.
A very charming little plant. Inflorescences similar to H. umbraculigerum. The numerous thick fleshy roots and round leaves are very characteristic.
Helichrysum krookii Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 248 (1910) and in Annln naturh. Mus. Wien 24: 317 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 156 (1977).
Lectotype: Natal, Mt Currie distr., Newmarket, Krook 1029 (W).
Galpin 6687 (PRE); Hilliard 4974 (E; K; NH; NU); Hilliard & Burtt 6552 (E; K; MO, NBG; NU; PRE); Wright 403 (E; K; NH; NU).