Common names:

Curry bush, Kerriebos (A), Varkbos (A)

Diagnostic characters:

Woody, often with very few leaves
Leaves densely glandular
Medium sized heads
Compact branched inflorescences or with heads apart on flowering shoots


Rounded twiggy shrub up to 1 m tall, very aromatic, branches short, stiff, divaricate, old branches bare, rough with persistent leaf bases, twigs thinly grey silky-felted, closely leafy. Leaves erect to spreading, mostly 3-10 x 2-4, mm, diminishing upwards, spathulate or obovate, much narrowed to base, very shortly decurrent, thickish, apex mucronate, recurved, both surfaces grey silky-felted, indumentum skin-like, glandular-punctate. Heads homogamous, turbinate-cylindric, c. 5 x 3 mm, few in terminal corymbose clusters. Involucral bracts in 4 series, graded, imbricate, inner equaling flowers, oblong, white woolly and glandular-punctate dorsally, tips rounded, slightly convex, glabrous, straw-coloured or golden brown, not radiating. Receptacle smooth or very shortly toothed. Flowers 8-15. Achenes not seen, ovaries with myxogenic duplex hairs. Pappus bristles many, nearly equaling corolla, scabrid, barbellate above, bases cohering by patent cilia.

Flowering between October and May, principally December and January.


Grows in karroid and other dry scrub. Widely distributed from about Glen and Bloemfontein (Free State) in the east and Prieska (Northern Cape) in the west, south to Keiskammahoek, Grahamstown and Addo in the Eastern Cape, Montagu, Touws River and Bredasdorp in the Western Cape.

Grassland, Fynbos, Thicket and Nama Karoo Biomes.



Helichrysum pentzioides Less., Syn. Comp. 282 (1832); DC., Prodr. 6: 192 (1838); Harv. in F.C. 3: 236 (1865); Moeser in Bot. Jb. 44: 291 (1910).



Cape, near Mossel Bay, Kamma River, Mundt et Maire.



Gnaphalium pentzioides (Less.) Sch. Bip. in Bot. Ztg 3: 171 (1845).



Acocks 8685 (PRE); Bolus 2200 (BM; BOL); Esterhuysen 19560 (BOL; NBG; PRE); Story 3694 (PRE).