Common names:

Sewejaartjie (A)

Origin of name:

niveus/ -a/ -um = snow white, or growing near snow

Diagnostic characters:

Well branched dwarf shrubs
Short needle-like leaves
White bracts


Dwarf twiggy ericoid shrublet, branches erect, spreading or prostrate, c. 60-120 (-300) mm long, branchlets white-woolly-felted, closely leafy. Leaves 2-5 (-10) x 0.5-0.75 mm, scarcely diminishing upwards, spreading, later reflexed, linear, obtuse, half clasping, shortly decurrent, margins strongly revolute, both surfaces grey woolly-felted, glabrescent, or wholly glabrous. Heads homogamous, cylindric, 4-5 x 1 mm, in small glomerules clustered at the branch tips closely surrounded by leaves. Involucral bracts in c. 6 series, outermost very short, webbed to the surrounding leaves, persistent, inner sub-equal, tips lanceolate, acute, milk-white or sometimes pink, slightly exceeding flowers, not radiating, soon caducous. Receptacle conical, honeycombed. Flowers (3-) 5 (-6). Achenes 0.75 mm, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabrid, bases with minute patent cilia not cohering.

Flowers mainly from December to February.


Along the SW. Cape coast from Saldanha Bay, the Cape Peninsula and the Cape Flats to about Still Bay in Riversdale district, often on coastal dunes, always in sandy places, not recorded above 180 m. Often in very dense stands.

Fynbos Biome.



Has something of the aspect of H. asperum var. glabrum but is easily distinguished by its few-flowered heads with acute white or white flushed pink involucral bracts.



Helichrysum niveum (L.) Less., Syn. Comp. 302 (1832), quoad syn. tantum; Hilliard & Burtt in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 82: 263 (1981).



Lectotype: Plukenet, Mant. 67 (1696), herbarium Sloane vol. 100 folio 24 (BM).



Gnaphalium niveum L., Sp. Pl. 852 (1753).

Helichrysum metalasioides DC., Prodr. 6: 171 (1838) p.p. excl. Burchell 2272 (G-DC); Levyns in Adamson & Salter, Fl. Cape Penins. 781 (1950). Gnaphalium metalasioides (DC.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 169 (1845). Helichrysum ericifolium Less, var. metalasioides (DC.) Harv. in F.C. 3: 217 (1865). Type: Cape, Hout Bay, Lambert s.n. (G-DC, holo.).

H. callunoides Sch. Bip. in Flora, Regensburg 27, 2: 677 (1844). Gnaphalium callunoides (Sch. Bip.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg. 3: 173 (1845). Type: Cape, Swellendam, Zoetendals Valley, Dec., Krauss 557 (P, holo.; G; Z, iso.).



Esterhuysen 28761a (BOL; PRE); Galpin 11259 (PRE); Taylor 5662 (PRE).