Diagnostic characters:

Large heads
Compact inflorescence
Yellow/straw coloured bracts
White hairs on internodes and leaf margins


Perennial herb with a small oval woody tuber c. 10 mm in diam. crowned by a leaf rosette, flowering stems 1�4, lateral, slightly decumbent then erect to about 300 mm, simple, loosely white-woolly, leafy. Radical leaves up to 70 x 1�5 mm, elliptic, with 5 parallel veins, firm-textured, apex acute, mucronate, base broad, clasping, margins thickened, glabrous or with sparse rough hairs, veins and margins glabrous or woolly; cauline leaves up to 75 x 10 mm, rapidly smaller upwards and passing into bracts, more or less distichous, clasping, linear-lanceolate, lowermost conduplicate, slightly falcate, upper erect, straight, otherwise as the radical leaves. Heads homogamous, cylindric, c. 5 x 5 mm, many in a terminal compound head 20�30 mm across, tightly congested, the bases webbed together with white wool. Involucral bracts in c. 4 series, subequal or the outer a little shorter, loosely imbricate, not radiating, equaling the flowers, translucent, golden-yellow overlaid light brown. Receptacle paleate. Flowers c. 45�55, yellow. Achenes 1 mm, elliptic, with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles c. 4�8, delicate, tips barbellate, bases nude, not cohering.


Flowering from January to April.


Grows socially in short grassland on stony mountain slopes. Known only from a small area of the KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, from Bushman's Nek, in Underberg district, to the Giant's Castle area, in Estcourt district, between c. 1 900 and 2 500 m.

Grassland Biome.


Easily recognized by its stiff, somewhat falcate leaves and flowers subtended by paleae.



Helichrysum paleatum Hilliard in Notes R. bot. Gdn Edinb. 32: 354 (1973), Compositae in Natal 193 (1977).



KwaZulu-Natal, Estcourt distr., Giant's Castle Game Reserve, Bannerman Pass, c. 8 000 ft, Hilliard 4828 (NU, holo.; E, iso.).






Hilliard 4810 (E; K; M; MO; NU; PRE; S); Hilliard & Burtt 9754 (E; K; MO; NU; S); Wright 459 (E; K; NU; S).