Common names:

Kaffertee (bossie), kaffir tea.

Diagnostic characters:

Large heads
Branched inflorescences
Leaves with 3 main veins distinct on lower surface
Yellow bracts


Perennial herb, rootstock stout, woody, crowned with fibrous leaf bases, roots producing narrow tubers, flowering stem usually solitary, up to 600 mm tall, thinly woolly, leafy but more distantly so above. Radical leaves up to 300 x 45 mm, blade narrowly to broadly elliptic, triplinerved, abruptly contracted to a thin wiry petiole half to one third the total leaf length, expanded and clasping below, apex more or less acute, upper surface scabridulous or occasionally smooth, lower white-felted, sometimes glabrescent, margins weakly revolute; cauline leaves similar to radical but soon sessile, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, margins strongly revolute, passing upwards into bracts. Heads homogamous, campanulate, c. 5 x 5 mm, many in a loose or compact, flat-topped, corymbose panicle. Involucral bracts in c. 6 series, graded, loosely imbricate, about equaling flowers, base woolly, limb glossy, ovate, acute to acuminate, opaque or subopaque, lemon-yellow often washed light golden-brown, not radiating. Receptacle with fimbrils at least equaling ovaries. Flowers 12�23. Achenes 1 mm long, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, scabrid, bases cohering strongly by patent cilia, lightly fused as well.


Flowering mainly between November and February.


Grows in grassland from near sea level to c. 2 000 m. Ranges from Mpumalanga, the Magaliesberg, Witwatersrand and Suikerbosrand, and Swaziland to the mountainous NE. part of the Free State, Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal, Transkei, Cape Drakensberg and Witteberg, and E. Cape about as far south as Grahamstown and west to the mountains about Graaff-Reinet.

Savanna, Grassland and Thicket Biomes.


Can be confused with some forms of H. nudifolium but is distinguished by its stems more closely bracteate near the summit, its triplinerved leaves, and loosely imbricate acute involucral bracts. See also H. harveyanum.




Helichrysum miconiifolium DC., Prodr. 6: 200 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 240 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 267 (1910); Compton, Fl. Swaziland 631 (1976); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 178 (1977).



Cape, Wittebergen, Dr�ge 3747 (G-DC, holo.; BM, iso.).



Gnaphalium miconiifolium (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 172 (1845).

H. miconiifolium var. minus DC., Prodr. 6: 200 (1838). Type: Albany and Grahamstown, Ecklon 1582 (G-DC, holo.).



Codd 2582 (NU; PRE); Compton 26471 (NBG); Hilliard & Burtt 7790 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Tyson 1497 (BOL; SAM); Wright 346 (E; K; NH; NU; S).