Common names:

Imphepho (Z)

Origin of name:

natalitium = to do / growing in KwaZulu-Natal.

Diagnostic characters:

Long flowering stalk, branched

Very long narrow leaves

Heads in rounded compact terminal clusters, with woolly bases

Bracts cream / beige


A stoloniferous perennial herb, stem erect to c. 1 m, simple below, branching above into a corymbose panicle, thinly greyish-white woolly or cobwebby, very leafy. Leaves up to 200 x 20 mm, decreasing rapidly in size upwards and passing into distant inflorescence bracts, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, tapering at both ends, decurrent on stem in long, narrow wings, glandular above, sometimes thinly greyish-white woolly as well, thinly greyish-white woolly below. Heads homogamous, c. 3 x 1 mm, cylindric, very many matted together at base with whitish wool to form dense cymose-corymbose clusters up to 20 m across terminating the inflorescence branches. Involucral bractsin 2�3 series, subequal, about equaling flowers, loosely imbricate, not radiating, creamy white or very pale straw-colour, pellucid becoming opaque. Receptacle deeply honeycombed. Flowers c. 8�11, dull yellow. Achenes 0.75 mm, glabrous. Pappus bristles 2 to several, tips subplumose, bases nude, not cohering.


Flowering between January and April.


Favours damp and partly shaded situations particularly along streams and at forest margins. Nearly confined to KwaZulu-Natal, and recorded from Babanango in the north to Alfred and Port Shepstone districts in the south and Umzimkulu district in the Transkei, on Natal's southern border, from near sea level to 2 300 m.


Grassland, Savanna and Thicket Biomes.




Helichrysum natalitium DC., Prodr. 6: 201 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 243 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 240 (1910); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 148 (1977).



KwaZulu-Natal, Port Natal [Durban], Dr�ge 5009 (G-DC, holo.; P, iso.).



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



Acocks 10177 (PRE); Hilliard 4818 (E; K; M; NH; NU; PRE); McClean 700 (PRE); Tyson 1164 (BOL; SAM); Wright 434 (E; K; M; NH; NU).