Origin of name:

patulum = somewhat spreading

Diagnostic characters:

Medium-sized heads
Compact inflorescence
Cream bracts
Small hairy leaves


Straggling well-branched subshrub up to 1 m tall, branches virgate, white-woolly, closely leafy becoming nude and pedunculoid below the inflorescence. Leaves mostly 6�20 x 2�12 mm, panduriform, upper part broadly elliptic to suborbicular, abruptly contracted about the middle, apex very obtuse, base broad, ear-clasping, margins crisped-undulate, both surfaces greyish-white woolly, upper less densely so. Heads homogamous, campanulate to subglobose, 4�5 x 3�5 mm, many in small corymbose clusters often corymbose-paniculately arranged. Involucral bracts in 5 series, graded, loosely imbricate, inner about equaling flowers, tips not radiating, concave, very obtuse, more or less undulate-crisped, opaque creamy white to pale primrose yellow, or rosy. Receptacle with fimbrils equaling ovaries. Flowers 14�30. Achenes 0.75 mm long, barrel-shaped, c. 8-ribbed, glabrous. Pappus bristles many, a little shorter than corolla, scabrid, bases cohering strongly by patent cilia.


Flowers between September and February, mainly in December and January.


Grows in shrub communities on coastal dunes and inland on S. facing mountain slopes up to c. 600 m above sea level. Confined to the SW. and S. Cape, from the Peninsula, Cape Flats and Stellenbosch along the coast to Groot Brak River, Mossel Bay.

Fynbos Biome.


Often confused with H. pandurifolium, from which it is easily distinguished by its concave obtuse involucral bracts; distinguished from H. petiolare by its crisped-undulate leaf margins.




Helichrysum patulum (L.) D. Don in Loudon, Hort. Brit. 341 (1830); Hilliard & Burtt in Notes R. Bot. Gdn Edinb. 32: 355 (1973).



Cape of Good Hope, Gnaphalium no. 15 (Herbarium Cliff. BM, holo.).



Gnaphalium patulum L., Sp. Pl. 855 (1753).

G. divaricatum Berg., Descr. Pl. Cap. 250 (1767). Type: Cape, Ekeberg (STB, holo.).

G. spatulatum Burm. f., Prodr. Fl. Cap. 25 (1768); Breyn., Prodr. t. 18 fig. 3 (1739). Type: Cape of Good Hope, Breynius (W).

G. auriculatum Lam., Encycl. 2: 754 (1788), non Helichrysum auriculatum Less. Type: Cape of Good Hope (P-LAM).

Helichrysum crispum var. subrufescens DC., Prodr. 6: 208 (1838). Types: ex herbarium De la Roche (G-DC); spec, labeled Gnaphalium spatulatum Breyn. (G-DC). [These excluded from IDC microfiche].

H. crispum var. citrinum Harv. in F.C. 3: 253 (1865). Lectotype: Cape Flats, Wallich (BM).

Helichrysum crispum sensu Less., Syn. Comp. 310 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 208 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 253 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 311 (1910); Levyns in Adamson & Salter, Fl. Cape Penins. 784 (1950); non (L.) D. Don.



Acocks 21553 (PRE); Bolus 4420 (BOL); Compton 8117 (NBG); Schlechter 9777 (E); Taylor 7024 (PRE).