MatformingWhite bractsLarge solitary heads
Much-branched cushion-forming dwarf shrub, very compact, rounded in outline, old main stem woody, bare, gnarled, main branches prostrate, rooting, producing innumerable tightly congested, densely leafy erect branchlets. Leaves closely imbricate, rosulate when viewed from above, only the thick, broadly ovate or suborbicular blade visible, c. 4�6 x 4�6 mm, appressed grey silky-woolly, the oblong basal part c. 6 x 3 mm, membranous, glabrous above, thinly villous below, stem-clasping. Heads homogamous, campanulate, 5�7 mm long, double that across the fully radiating bracts, sessile, solitary at the tips of the branchlets. Involucral bracts in c. 6 series, graded, loosely imbricate, exceeding the flowers, obtuse to acute, glossy, lemon-yellow, pale lemon or whitish. Receptacle nearly smooth. Flowers 41�64, yellow. Achenes 1.5 mm, ellipsoid, with sparse rather long duplex hairs, sometimes few or wanting, not mucilaginous when wet. Pappus bristles many, equaling corolla, scabridulous, bases not cohering by patent cilia, but some fusion in bundles.
Flowers between November and January.
Forms dense hard cushions scarcely 100 mm high but as much as a meter across, pressed against rock surfaces. Recorded from a small part of the high Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, from Cleft Peak (Bergville district) to Hodgson's Peaks and The Rhino (Underberg district), and the Black Mountains beyond Sani Pass, between c. 2 745 and 3 500 m.
Helichrysum pagophilum M.D. Henderson in Kirkia 1: 113 (1961); Hilliard, Compositae in Natal 224 (1977).
Basutoland [Lesotho], summit Drakensberg, Cleft Peak area, 9 800 ft., Killick & Marais 2177 (PRE, holo.; K, iso.).
Hilliard 5425 (E; K; M; MO; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 10483 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Wright 336 (E; K; NH; NU).